Today being a special day for me , i am really very happy to feature one of my blogger friends guest post on my blog. The reason being special is , it is the first guest post i am featuring on my blog . So it is obvious that i am not the person who is going to do the post today but its my special guest.
Before introducing the guest , i would like to tell your'll how i met her .Thank you to Google+. As a routine when i was checking G+ , i saw a post a about Pumpkin Blossom Fritters . It was kind of new to me ( i never knew that we could eat pumpkin flowers anyways later i got to know from her that we could eat pumpkin flowers as well ) , so i clicked the post and saw a beautiful write up and mind blowing photographs in it . It was the exact time i had a event running on my blog Themed "Lets Celebrate Halloween" ,so i asked her to link it to the event .That's where i met her and asked her for a guest post. She immediately accepted my request .
So let me introduce my guest +Barnali Biswas-Ray the author of Curries & Stories . Barnali is a Software engineer by profession and she is a great writer , Photographer and a Story Teller . Being Bengali by birth she follows and cooks her traditional cuisines . She has got sooo many lip smacking recipes in her blog . One of my favorite is Bitter Gourd fish curry (imagine bitter gourd with fish) .Last but not the least would like to mention about the photographs,each photograph is unique , has a meaning and tell you thousands of stories .
Ok now over to my guest Barnali
The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of food is Bengali cuisine...of course it’s the cuisine which is most dear to my heart because I grew up with it. The Bengali's love for food is legendary. The variety of fish and vegetables are so diverse that anything can be combined with everything and a new dish can be created. Bengalis make ambrosial dishes out of the oftentimes rejected peels, stalks & leaves of vegetables. Ghonto, chorchori, chechki, labra, paturi, bhapa, jhal, jhol, kosha, bhate, chhyanchra, dalna, dolma,kalia, pora, shukto are some of the predominant cooking styles from this cuisine. Every dish gets its unique signature flavor and taste depending on the cooking method. Today I would like to write about a very humble and comforting recipe from Bengal.
I have been food blogging for over a year now. I had a G+ page which I never tried to explore. I used to remain within the frontiers of my blog until recently when one fine day I decided to understand the enigmatic G+. The more time I started spending I became aware of the huge treasure trove of recipes being posted all around the world. One fine day I was invited by Sharanya to attend her ongoing event "Let's celebrate Halloween" that's how I gradually started interacting with her. A very sweet person whose cakes and pastries are equally sugary, delectable, mouth-watering, ravishing and I could go on and on. As much as I try to keep myself away from all this calorie filled yummies I still love to savor the delicacies with my eyes on Sharanya's blog. Her blog is very warm and inviting...it almost makes me feel like a kid in a candy shop. It's a very proud moment for me to be doing a guest post for a cordon bleu like her.
There are many restaurants claiming to serve "authentic Bengali" cuisine, but be sure the real essence of Bengali food can be only savored at a Bengalis home. Maybe as they say, hotel cooked food lacks the warmth and love of a home cooked meal. Among all the amazing dishes that are there the one that I am going to write about is just a simpleton in front of the other more famous counterparts. But still this inconspicuous homely dish has a lot of filigrees of childhood memory associated with it and interspersed with the quintessential flavour of Bengali cuisine – warm and near to heart.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
1. Soak Poppy seeds in a cup of lukewarm water for 20 minutes. The poppy seed will soak up the water. Grind to a fine paste.The longer you soak the seeds the finer will be the paste.
2. Peel the skin of the ridge gourd alternatively. Cut it lengthwise and then chop into half moon sized quarter inch pieces.
3. Peel the skin and dice the potatoes into cubes matching the size of the ridge gourd quarters.
4. Heat oil in a wok and fry the potato cubes till the edges start to brown. Add the ridge gourd and turmeric and a pinch of salt. Toss for a few minutes till the ridge gourd start to wilt.
Lower the heat, cover and cook till both potatoes and ridge gourd are cooked. Both will get cooked in the water of the ridge gourd. If it starts to stick sprinkle a little water. Take them out of the oil with a slitted spoon and keep aside.
5. In the same oil throw in the poppy seed paste. Saute for a few minutes on low flame stirring continuously till the water is dried up and the raw smell is gone. (Poppy paste will become bit crisp). Take care not to burn it as poppy seeds tend to stick to the pan. Take it out of the oil in a bowl.
6. Heat the remaining oil and toss in the Kalonji. When the spice is fragrant add the fried potatoes and ridge gourd. Fold in with the Kalonji. Add the sugar and salt at this stage. ( Ideally the dish is made slightly sweeter)
Note: If you want to add onion in the dish, add it along with Kalonji and saute it for a while. Add a little water to make the onions soft faster. Once onion is done add the potato and ridge gourd.
7. When the salt-sugar-heat level is adjusted add the fried poppy seed paste and mix well. Saute for a couple of minutes and cut of the heat.
Serve warm with steamed rice and Kolai Daal(Split Urad Daal).
Regards , Barnali
Hope you all would have enjoyed Barnali's Bengali Dish and loved her photographs . Do visit her blog Curries & Stories for more Authentic Bengali Dishes.