Thursday, November 20, 2014

Black And White Wednesday 151

Hello, friends. Hope you all are doing great. This will be the first gallery since BWW went biweekly. As always, I am so very happy to host this gallery of lovely photos!

New bww logo big

 So, relax, put your feet up and enjoy the gallery!  

English Tea and Bengali adda at Mrs. Magpie from Balaka of Wanderful
(Balaka is my childhood school friend).

Easy French Bread Loaf from Lynne of Cafe Lynnulu.
(I love breads and this seems tempting enough for me to try soon).

Sicilian Cannoli  from Cinzia of Cindystar.
(Cinzia, seriously, I am drooling right now! This is my one of most "frequent buy" from Little Italy). 

Grapes Before The Harvest from Rosa of Rosa's Yummy Yums.
(I always love all of Rosa's beautiful clicks, so no exception for this).


Treats for Goddess Lakshmi from your's truly of Pocketfull Of Spices.

I hope you enjoy this nice medley of black and white images. The next edition of BWW will be up on December 3 and will be hosted by Aparna of Stories from the Mahe Coast. See you all there.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Potoler Dolma aka Stuffed Potol

This is a very traditional bengali dish and is liked by all. Potol or pointed gourd is widely cultivated in eastern India and is common vegetable during the summer months particularly in West Bengal. It is very rich in vitamin A and vitamin C. During summer when other veggies are not so abundant, potol used to be cooked almost every week at my house, so often that you start to hate it. Unless, special times when my Maa used to make this stuffed version. 

This preparation requires a bit of patience and tad amount of time, both of which are being missed in my kitchen. I just made half a dozen of them and was wondering how my mother used to do at least thrice the number every time she made. In this dish, potols are cut at one end, and scraped of the inside fillings. Then they are stuffed with any fillings of choice, be it simple daal, paneer or even ground meat. My Maa always used to make the vegetarian version and never used meat. This is the first time I made it and did it in same way as my Mom used to do, but next time I will try the ground meat version.


Potol - 6 large, washed and kept aside
Chhana dal - 2 tablespoon, soaked for at least 15 minutes
Grated Coconut - 2 tablespoon
Tomatoes - 1medium, diced
Red Onion - 1 large, finely chopped
Red Chilli - 1, more if you like it hot
Green chilli - 1
Ginger paste - 1 teaspoon
Cumin powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Turmeric - 1/4 teaspoon
Vegetable Oil - 2-3 tablespoon ( I used mustard oil)
Sugar and Salt - To taste

Wash the potols and gently peel the skin in alternative rows (see the picture below).

Cut one side (about 1/4 th inch from the tip) and carefully scoop out the flesh and seeds from inside. Make sure you do not pierce the sides. I used the back of a small teaspoon to do it. Do not throw them away, keep them aside to use later. In the meantime, boil the chana dal till they are just soft.

Rub salt and turmeric on the pools and gently poke all over with a fork. Shallow fry them for 3-4 minutes in 1 tablespoon of oil. Keep them aside.

Now add grated coconut and fry them for a minute or two. Add the boiled chana dal and the flesh and seeds that you have scooped out from the potols. Add salt, half teaspoon of cumin powder, pinch of turmeric ands sauté them till they are well done, about 4-5 minutes. You can also use grated paneer instead of dal or ground meat which has been cooked well. 

The stuffing looks like this. Wait few minutes to cool it down. Now carefully stuff the potols with this    till you fill up each of them.

Add remaining oil to the pan, add a red chilli, and add onions to it. Saute them till they start to get golden, Add the tomatoes and mix with it for couple of minutes. Turn off the heat and cool the mixture. Put it in blender and give it a pulse or two. Return it  to the pan and add ginger paste, cumin powder, salt, sugar and sauté for few more minutes. Add the stuffed potols and if you want add few tablespoons of warm water. Simmer for few minutes with the lid closed.

Add half teaspoon of ghee at the end, give a mix and turn the heat off. Leave it for few mites with lid covered.

Your yummy potoler dolma is ready to eat.

Serve with steaming white rice and enjoy!

This is my entry for the ABC World Culinary Adventure. Cinzia is hosting India for a fortnight and you will find many wonderful Indian recipes on her page.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Black and White Wednesday # 151

At the beginning of the fall, or autumn as we commonly call it in this part of the world, we welcome our very own Goddess Durga. Yes, she is goddess but she is welcomed as one own's daughter and she comes to her father's house to spend some days. Every bengalis look forward to these few days that Durga spends with us along with her four kids. When she leaves for her husband's home in Himalayas, her daughter Lakshmi stays back to be pampered a little more. Few days after Durga puja, every bengali household worships Lakshmi in their own way on the following full moon night.

After many many years I have spend this day at Kolkata, and was filled with nostalgia. My Maa and Mom-in-law celebrates it every year, and although in much lesser extent, makes all the special treats that Goddess Lakshmi loves. Thanks to them my lil one and me once again basked in the tradition and enjoyed the treats.

Treats for Goddess Lakshmi

And now, its time for BWW.
Hello friends, I will be your host for Black and White Wednesday this week. This will be 151 st episode!!! I simply love these black and white gallery of interesting and amazing photos. And I am honored to be your host once again.

For the newbies, here are the rules:
  • Your clicks have to be  anything of a culinary nature or show anything related to food
  • You can shoot either in b/w mode or in color, then process in b/w. You can use any effect you like but keeping the image in a monochrome/grayscale, with Sepia and Cyanotype tones allowed. No color details allowed.
  • Approximate sizes of your pictures should be portrait/500 wide & 700 long - landscape/700 wide & 500 long - or 600 square.
  • No need of a recipe, nor a story nor a location (but they are welcome if you like), simply a title for the picture is required.
  • You have to mention Black and White Wednesday in your post and link to this announcement and my blog  Pocketfull Of Spices. Use of the logo is optional.

Please send me your photographs at pocketfullofspices AT gmail DOT com with following details: 
  • Subject: BWW #151
  • Your Name that you want to be published in round up
  • Your Blog's Name
  • Title of Your Pic
  • URL of your post
  • The image(s), max 500 px wide
You have until Tuesday, November 18, to send me your images. Even if you do not have any blog, you can send me your photos for the roundup.

So, once again, take out your cameras and happy clicking my friends!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Quick and Healthy Apple Crumble

My lil A loves sweet. She becomes very happy when her snack time is perked up with something sweet. And given the high amount of sugar present in store bought cakes and candies, I try to make/bake something sweet and simple for her. This crumble is super easy to make, nothing can be easier than this! And it is healthy, so its a complete win-win.

Also, this time of the year is my favourite. The air is crisp, sun is sweeter and apples are bounty. Best time to make apple crumble.

(2 servings)

Apple - 1 skinned and chopped to bite size pieces 
Raisins - 8 - 10, brown/golden ( soaked in water for few minutes)
Lime juice - 1 tablespoon
All purpose flour - 4 tablespoon
Rolled Oats - 4 tablespoon (I used quick oats)
Sugar - 2 tablespoon (optional)
Salt - 1 pinch
Butter (softened) - 4 tablespoon
Vanilla essence - 1/4 teaspoon

Preheat oven at 200C. Coat the apple pieces with lime juice.

Grease the cake bowl with a little butter and and add the chopped apple pieces and raisins mixed with butter and 1 tablespoon sugar. Microwave for 2 minutes.

In a seperate bowl, mix flour, oats, remaining sugar, salt together. Add butter and mix it with hand. It will be crumbly. Do not knead. Add the vanilla essence and mix once more.

Add the crumbly crumble on top of the apple pieces and press it evenly on all sides. Bake it at 200C /375F for 10 - 12 minutes till the top starts to become golden brown.

Your apple and raisins crumble is ready. Yes, seriously!!!

I had great difficulty in keeping a little hand out of the way!

Enjoy it with whipped cream or a scoop of ice-cream of your choice. I served with a dollop of greek yogurt.

There goes the little finger!

Apple Crumble

 I converted one image for this week's Black and White Wednesday - a culinary event of gorgeous images. This was started by Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook and currently managed by Cinzia of Cindystar. She is also the host of this week, that is BWW 150. For hosting details, click here.

Next BWW will be hosted by your's truly, yeah, that's me.