Milli I am honoured to be invited to your blog! We Bengalis love to eat and adventurous in trying new cuisines and tastes!

Tasty Green Vegetable Recipes

Green vegetables are a source of vitamins and minerals and must be an essential part of our diet. They are also rich sources of fiber. Integrating them into daily meals does not necessary mean, having unwanted portions of greens on your plate. The below recipes with some of the most nutritious green vegetables, will leave you tempted to have larger portions of these veggies on your plate next time!

Asparagus and Broccoli, taste ok when boiled and sprinkled with salt and pepper, but for most of us foodies, just the thought of that sounds like pure torture! The recipe below can be applied to either asparagus or broccoli, and both taste wonderfully delicious prepared this way!

Broccoli Stir Fry

What you need:
One inch of ginger grated
One clove of garlic grated
One bunch of Broccoli cut into medium florets or 6 cups of Broccoli
(for asparagus one bunch or about 20 small asparagus )
One table spoon of chili oil (Laoganma)*
Salt to taste
Ground Pepper to taste
One tablespoon olive oil

How to make:
Parboil vegetables, drain and keep aside
Heat oil in a saucepan
Add the ginger and garlic, and sauté for 2 minutes
Add the vegetables, followed by the chili oil, and stir fry over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes
Remove from heat, and sprinkle ground pepper

Serve hot!

*If you do not have chili oil at home, you can make a batch of at home, and store it in the refrigerator.
Chili oil recipe:
Cut about 20 dry red chilies into fine small flakes
Toast the chill flakes, a handful of pepper, and 2 teaspoon of crushed pepper in a super hot pan for 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat, and add  one teaspoon salt and two cups of sesame oil to the mixture. Store in a cool place.

Spicy Potato Chips

Last month, I have been experimenting the Chinese Chili crisp with all my recipes, and this one has turned out to be super addictive! Absolutely love it. My guests at the thanksgiving dinner also loved it. Best Chips ever!!!

What you need:
8 medium sized prewashed potatoes parboiled
1/2 inch ginger grated
3 tablespoon rosemary leaves
1 green chili deseeded and chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon Chinese Spicy Chili Crisp
salt to taste

How to make:
Slice the parboiled potatoes into medium slices. I prefer to leave the skin on the potato for the added crunchiness, but this is optional. You can peel them as well.
Heat a pan, add the oil. Then add the ginger, rosemary and green chili, and potatoes and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes.
Add salt and the chili crisp and sauté for another 2 minutes. Serve!

Yoghurt Pudding

Simple healthy and delicious, this pudding is an all time favorite in Bengali Indian homes. The original yoghurt pudding (bhappa doi) is a steamed version, but it comes out equally well in the oven. You can add different flavors to it as well(saffron, cardamom or mango flavors work very well, strawberry works well too)

What you need:
2 cups of natural yoghurt(Greek yoghurt or low fat natural yoghurt works well too)
1.5  cup low fat sweet condensed milk
2 pods of cardamom crushed*

How to make:
Line a round baking tray with baking paper
Mix all ingredients and pour into the tray
Cover the tray tightly with aluminum foil
Bake in a preheated oven at 175 degree Celsius for 15 minutes
Let the tray cool, then carefully transfer the pudding into a serving plate and refrigerate for an hour.
Serve Cold!

*To add saffron flavor add a few strands of saffron to your yoghurt mix
*To add mango flavor add 2 tablespoon of ripe mango puree to your yoghurt mix

Spicy Chilli Crisp

You can buy it in Chinese grocery stores, and it adds an instant zing to any dish.The most common brand is LAOGANMA. It has a very nice flavor and smell, and is made with red chili flakes, sesame oil and beans.

Best Scrambled Eggs Sandwich

I love eggs specially if it is scrambled. The recipe I share below is an absolutely heavenly version of the scrambled egg, and you can have it for lunch on its own, or with bread as a sandwich. It is simple to prepare and is pretty addictive :))

What you need:
2 medium eggs
1 tablespoon rosemary leaves
boiled slices of 1 medium potato (optional)
salt to taste(optional),about two pinches
1 teaspoon of Spicy Chili Crisp *
1 tablespoon oil

How to make:
Pour oil in a skillet
Add the rosemary leaves
Add the potato slices, and sauté for a minute
Pop the eggs into the skillet, and add salt
and add the red chilli crisp
Sauté for a minute, you can add any leftovers as well like roast chicken or pasta, to make it varied.
Make a sandwich with bread, or enjoy it own its own!!

Instant Sweet and Sour Chicken

This recipe is super fast to prepare and tastes like restaurant food.

What you need:
Diced chicken : 2 cups
1 Teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon lime juice
2 Tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon corn flour
1 cup water
*4 Tablespoon Sweet and Sour Sauce
1 pinch sugar
1 Tablespoon Oil
1 large onion chopped
1 large Capsicum chopped

How to make:
Marinate chicken with soy sauce and lime juice and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Add flour to the chicken.
Heat oil in a pan, and lightly fry the floured chicken. Remove from pan.
Add the onions and capsicum to the pan. Sauté for a minute, and then add the sugar and freshly prepared sweet and sour sauce. Add the chicken, and sauté for another minute.
Add water, and the corn flour, and sauté for another minute. Serve hot with rice!

*How to make the Sweet and Sour Sauce:

Perfect Chinese Sweet and Sour Sauce

Chinese sweet and sour recipes are delicious, and are super easy to prepare. The key to any sweet and sour recipe is the sauce. Below is the absolutely perfect and easiest way to make a super quick aromatic sweet and sour sauce for any of your recipes:

What you need:
1 Tablespoon Ketchup or Tomato sauce
1 teaspoon Light Soy Sauce
1 green chili finely chopped
1 bunch of Chinese parsley finely chopped
quarter of an inch of ginger grated
4 cloves of garlic grated
1 teaspoon of Spicy Chili Crisp ( you can find this in Chinese grocery stores, it is basically a chili oil with the chili seeds)
5 to 6 Crushed Black pepper seeds
1 tablespoon peanut oil/sesame oil

How to make:
Heat oil in a pan. Add the ginger and garlic followed by the rest of the ingredients except the parsley.
Toss over high heat for two minutes. Add parsley. Your sauce is ready to be used!

*The above recipe makes about 4 tablespoon of Sauce

Easy Apple Pie Recipe

Apple pie.This dessert is an absolute favorite for those rainy evenings when you want to enjoy a dessert and tea at home, while watching your favorite television show. You can have it hot or cold, and both ways it is delicious! A crossover between a pie and a cake, it is crumbly and moist at the same time.

What you need:
1 egg beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla essence
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup all purpose flour
1 pinch of salt
1/2 cup melted butter or vegetable oil
1/2 cup semolina
1 teaspoon milk(optional)
2 apples peeled & chopped into small squares
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1 handful of raisins
1 handful of cashew nuts

Mix the dry ingredients (flour, semolina, baking powder, salt and cinnamon) in a bowl.
In another bowl mix the beaten egg, vanilla, sugar, and apple and butter.
Add  the flour mixture to the egg & apple mix. Stir to a very thick batter. If it is really thick add a teaspoon of mil to bring it to a runny dough consistency. Note: the cake mix should be of an almost dough like consistency, and unlike cakes, should not be batter like.
Pour the dough into a cake tin, and sprinkle with raisins and cashew nuts.
Bake at 175 C for 35 to 40 minutes.

Healthy Yoghurt Dessert

Steamed Yoghurt

What you need:
1 tin low fat condensed milk 250 g
1 tub natural yoghurt 350 g
1 pinch saffron strands

How to prepare:
Mix the yoghurt and condensed milk thoroughly.
Add the saffron, and steam it in a bowl for 20 minutes.
Let it cool down. The refrigerate it for an hour.
Garnish with sliced strawberries or cherries(optional).
Serve cold!

Balance your Calories

Many of my friends requested me to add the calorie content in my recipes, so I will be doing that henceforth. The calorie content mentioned in the dishes will be an approximation based on the ingredients I use, and could differ slightly on case to case basis.

The importance of counting your calories on a regular basis is advised by many nutritionists and health instructors. The reason counting calories is important, is because in the modern day world we eat a lot of processed food. When we are having our favorite takeaway for dinner, or munching on that oh so delicious salad at the salad bar near our office, we often forget that the ingredients they use might not be fresh, and are highly likely to be using some form of processed ingredients.  It is always wiser to have an approximate gauge of the calories we are consuming on a daily basis. It need not be an exact measure, just a high level of estimation is sufficient.

Countries like the US are fighting obesity problems constantly and it is a matter of time before it becomes an epidemic in Asia as well. Here is a fabulous website that gives a bright insight on nutrition and healthy food :

On a separate note, sweets have always been my weakness, and I have always noticed that on days that I do not exercise, or have taken a break from exercises for a week, my sweet cravings increase. Here is a very nice article on why we crave for certain food, and the signals that our body may be sending to us indirectly.

Puffed Rice Salad

Jhal Muri(Puffed Rice salad)

Total Calories : 138 kcal
Calories from oil : 40
A common street food in eastern India, this is a super healthy snack. It is quite filling, and can have variations to suit your palette, involves no cooking, and takes less than a minute to prepare.

What you need
1 bowl  Puffed Rice*
1 small onion finely chopped
1 small tomato finely chopped
1 small potato boiled and finely chopped(optional)
1 small green chili deseeded and finely chopped(optional)
1 tablespoon Murukku mixture (or 1 tablespoon roasted peanuts)
1 teaspoon mustard oil/extra virgin olive oil

Mix all the above ingredients in a bowl, and serve!

*For those who do not know what puffed rice is :

Easy Scones

What you need:
Egg                                  1 medium
Flour                                2 cups
Vanilla essence                1 tablespoon
Baking powder                1 and 1/2 teaspoon
Salt                                  1 large pinch
Sugar                               1 cup
Butter                              2 tablespoon
Milk                                2 tablespoon for brushing

How to cook:
1. Beat Egg until fluffy. Add vanilla essence.
2. In a separate bowl mix flour , baking powder, salt
3. Add butter to flour and mix with your fingers
4. Add the flour to the egg, and mix.
5. Knead to a soft dough.
6. Roll out the dough, and cut into medium biscuit size pieces
7. Brush scones with milk
8. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 20 minutes
Serve hot or cold with Coffee or tea!

Moist Chocolate Cake

Moist Chocolate Cake

What you need
Good quality cocoa powder                    ½ cup
Milk heated                                                ½ cup
Melted unsalted butter                            1 cup
Vegetable Oil                                              2 teaspoon
Eggs                                                              2
Vanilla essence                                           2 tablespoons
Salt                                                               1pinch
Baking Soda                                                1 pinch
Baking Powder                                           1 Tablespoon
Flour                                                             1 ½ cups
Semolina                                                      ½ cup
Sugar                                                            1 ½ cup
For the decoration:
Dark Chocolate bar                                    1 medium
Icing Sugar                                                   1 tablespoon
Melted Unsalted butter                            3 tablespoon
Strawberries or nuts halved or sugar flowers (any decorations of your choice- I usually use whatever is available at home)

How to cook
Mix Chocolate powder with hot milk. Keep aside.
Mix eggs and vanilla essence till it becomes slightly fluffy.
Mix dry ingredients salt, baking soda, baking powder, flour and semolina.
Pour the mixed dry ingredients into the egg mixture.
Add melted butter (1 cup) + oil + sugar to the egg mixture.
Mix well.
Add the chocolate powder mix to the mixture.
Pour into a cake tin and bake in a preheated oven at 175 C for 35 to 40 minutes.

Melt Chocolate bar in a bowl, and add unsalted butter. Mix thoroughly so there are no lumps.
Pour the mixture over the baked cake. Decorate with halved strawberries and dried nuts.
Put in the refrigerator to allow the chocolate icing to set for about an hour. Serve!

Green Chilli Pickle(Lankar Aachaar)

Muchas Gracias to my lovely friend Debjani for sharing this recipe with me. It is an absolutely lip-smacking side addition to the dinner plate on those special dinner or lunch occasions when you had the time and energy to make parathas at home. Goes well with rice as well!

What you need
2 cups large green chilies deseeded & diced into medium chunks
1/4 cup mustard seeds
1/4 cup  fennel seeds 
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
4 tbsp lemon juice
6 tablespoon Mustard Oil (optionally Olive Oil)
1 teaspoon salt.

How to cook
Roast the fennel seeds. Pound them to a coarse powder.
Combine all the ingredients with the diced chilies and toss well
Put oil in wok, and fry seasoned chilies till the water from the chilies has dried up.
Let it cool. Store it in a clean dry bottle in a cool place. I store it in the refrigerator, considering Singapore's evergreen hot and humid weather.
Serve with rotis or parathas and enjoy!!!

Chicken Tikka

What you need

1 Whole Chicken with bone, cut into medium sized pieces
Ginger-Garlic paste                 1 Tablespoon
Greek Yoghurt                          2 Tablespoons
Turmeric                                    ½ teaspoon
Red Chili powder                      ½ teaspoon
Coriander powder                     ½ teaspoon
Black pepper powder coarse   ½ teaspoon
Five spice powder                      1 teaspoon
Salt                                                ½ teaspoon
Coriander leaves                        some for marinate and some for garnishing
Vegetable Oil                              1 Tablespoon

How to Cook
Mix chicken with ginger-garlic paste, spices, salt and coriander leaves. Let it sit in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours
Heat oven to 180 C.  Mix marinated chicken with oil (optional), if you want a healthier version you could skip the oil
Place the chicken pieces on a tray, and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes.
Serve warm with chopped coriander leaves !



Spicy Pumpkin Mash

Spicy Pumpkin Mash
This pumpkin mash is a zesty alternative to the regular pumpkin mash and tastes great with bread. It is super easy to prepare and can be prepared just before serving.

What you need:
600 g sweet pumpkin deseeded, peeled and cut into chunks
1 pinch sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon five spice powder
½ teaspoon red chilli powder
1 dried bay leaf
1 table spoon olive oil
Chopped coriander for garnish

How to cook:
1.Boil the pumpkin till it is tender, and breaks with a fork.
2.Add oil to a hot skillet. Add all the ingredients except the pumpkin and salt to the oil, and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.
3.Remove from fire, and add the contents of the skillet to the boiled pumpkin.
4.Add the chopped coriander, and mash the pumpkin partly, and fold in the spice mixture into the mashed pumpkin.
5.Do not mash the pumpkin completely, just mash haphazardly such that there are small chunks of pumpkin left in the mash.

Raspberry Sponge

This delightful dessert can be served with a handful of mixed berries on the side or an irresistible raspberry sauce poured over the cake.

What you need:

Sponge Cake vanilla*                                 : 1
Mascarpone Cheese or any Cream cheese : 200 gm
Icing sugar                                                  : 3 tablespoon
Fresh Raspberries                                       : 2 cups
Castor Sugar                                               : 2 tablespoon
Lemon Juice                                               : 1 tablespoon
Water                                                          : 1 cup
Coffee powder                                            : 1 tablespoon
Chocolate cubes                                          : 50 gms

*You can either get a sponge cake from the supermarket, or prepare it at home based on the directions below. Both work equally great, so if you are short of time, this dessert allows you to make that compromise.

How to Make:
1. Cut the sponge cake from the middle into two parts using a sharp knife such that they are now two sponge cakes.
2. Mix coffee powder into half cup of hot water, and pour it over a large plate.
3. Dip the sponge cakes one side only over the coffee.
4. Melt the chocolate and pour it over one of the sponge cake,one side only.
5. Beat mascarpone cheese with icing sugar in a bowl till it becomes smooth and fluffy in texture.
6. Pour the beaten mixture into the same sponge over the chocolate, and top with half of the raspberries.
7. Place the other sponge over it slowly and carefully, so that it sits right above the other one.
8. Your raspberry sponge cake is ready. Decorate it with some more raspberries and leftover cheese at the top.
9. Put water, raspberries, castor sugar, lemon juice in a pan, and bring to a boil over high heat.
10. Reduce the heat and let the raspberry sauce thicken to a syrup like consistency.
11. Put the cake and the sauce in the refrigerator, and serve when cold.
12. To serve the cake, cut a piece and place on a plate and pour a spoonful of the raspberry sauce over the cake. Enjoy :))

Spring Onions and Potato Stir Fry

This recipe is super easy to prepare and is delicious to taste. Try this super simple recipe as a side with roti or bread or on its own.

What you need:

2 large potatoes diced into small cubes
1 packet of spring onions finely chopped
1 tablespoon melted butter or vegetable oil
1 pinch turmeric powder(optional)
Salt to taste
Crushed Black pepper to taste(optional)

How to Cook:
Boil the potatoes till they are soft but not mushy.
Add oil to a pan, and pour in the potatoes, spring onion.
Add the salt, turmeric powder, and stir for two to three minutes.
Remove from heat and sprinkle crushed black pepper. Serve hot!

Five Spice Fish Curry

Five Spice Fish Curry

The key to cooking Asian curries the right way is to discard all those spice packets that you have from the supermarkets, and make your own spice paste at home. It is super easy to prepare and makes the curry taste a lot better and much more fragrant.

What you need:

For the five spice paste(will make about 2 teaspoon of paste):
1 inch Cinnamon stick
2 cardamoms
2 cloves
1 dried red chilli(optional)
8 black peppercorns
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 inch ginger (peeled)
3 cloves of garlic(peeled)

For the curry:
Fish(12 cubes)           cut into cubes and marinated for 15 minutes with half a teaspoon of turmeric powder and half a teaspoon of coriander powder
green chilli                1
bay leaf                     1
Onion Chopped        1 medium
Sugar                        1 pinch
Salt                           1/2 teaspoon
Chopped Coriander  1 table spoon
Five spice paste        2 tablespoon
Olive Oil                   2 tablespoon
Water                        1 cup

How to Cook:
1.Put all the ingredients in the five space paste into a mixer blender, and grind to a fine paste. Alternatively you can use mortar and pestle to make the paste. This is your five spice paste.
2.Pan fry the marinated fish about 1 minute each side, and set aside in a plate.
3.Add the chopped onions to the oil. Then add the five spice powder, bay leaf, sugar to the oil and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, till the onion has turned brown.
4. Add green chilli, salt and water, and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes over high heat. Then add the pan fried fish to the boiling curry , and let it simmer over low heat for 3 to 5 minutes.
5. Turn off the heat. Garnish with Chopped Coriander and serve hot with white rice.

Kheer Kamla (Milk Pudding with sweet Orange)

Thanks to my dear friend for introducing me to this yummy dessert. The combination of milk with orange is so flavourful, it will always leave your palette with a sweet and exotic taste.

What you need:
2 sweet oranges peeled and deseeded(sliced if large)
Orange zest of 1 orange
500 ml of full cream milk
1/2 cup sugar

How to cook:
Boil milk in a pan.
Add sugar, orange zest and then keep stirring until the milk thickens and the cream starts to solidify into small lumps. The milk should ideally reduce to half in volume.
Turn off the heat, and let the milk be cooled.
Add the sliced oranges to the cold milk.
Refrigerate for an hour.

Serve cold.  Enjoy!

Note: the key to the taste of this dish is to make sure the oranges are very sweet, so do taste your orange before adding them to the dish. If you buy very ripe oranges, which have a strong and sweet fruity smell, you will not go wrong.

Thin Beans Stir Fry

This fabulous and easy vegetable stir fry takes a few minutes to make and makes an excellent side dish.

What you need:
Thin Beans - 1 packet
(you can substitute this with long beans or French Beans)
Feta cheese cubes/Paneer - Half Cup
Salt to taste - Half Tea Spoon
Castor Sugar - one pinch
1 medium Tomato cut into small cubes
Five Spice Powder - Half Tea spoon
Vegetable Oil - 1 1/2 Tablespoon

Preparation Time : 8 minutes

How to Cook:  
Cut Beans into half. Add  Oil to a skillet or pan. Pour in the beans. Add Salt , sugar. Cover with a lid and cook for 5 minutes. Take out the beans from the skillet. Now pour 1/2 tablespoon oil into the skillet. Add the five spice powder and tomato, and cook for about 2 minutes till the tomatoes are soft and the oil starts to separate from the tomato, and it is all mushy. Now add back the cooked beans to the skillet. Add the cheese and cook for another 1 minute.

Sprinkle ground black pepper and Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve Hot.