Thursday, July 3, 2014

Food that looks good, tastes better!

That combination of gold and white. Steaming little yellow cubes or even circles on white rice. That aroma which fills the room and make you asking for more. That taste that cannot be replicated and should be had only on special occasions. Such is the power of one of my grandma’s signature dish. Shorshe or Bhapa Chhana or Paneer in Mustard Sauce is what we call it. Yes, one of her many signature dishes that not even the best cooks and Mom can recreate.

Cooking is an art and you need to develop that skill and talent to cook the best food. It is not easy to get that right amount when someone asks you to add pinch of salt to the food or according to your taste, or even the spoon sizes don’t match when they talk about adding masalas to your food. But for my grandma, these didn’t matter. Practice and long years of cooking with love and care made her perfect. No wonder she was the ultimate decision maker when it came to kitchen and what everyone in the family will eat. Although everything she cooked tasted out of the world, her signature dishes were only meant to be cooked on special occasions such as birthdays of her sons and daughter, grandchildren and Jamai Shashti. Bowls of different vegetarian curries along with rice and dal will be put in front of the special person.

Being a vegetarian family, we have successfully replaced the non-vegetarian versions of dishes with vegetarian ones. Shorshe Paneer or Bhapa Chhana is one such example. For non-vegetarians, it is the shorshe ilish or shorshe chicken. For us, it is this delicious version.

When I received the mail from #IndiBlogger regarding this contest My Beautiful Food! from Borosil, I was thrilled. Although I am not a food blogger yet, I have been toying with the idea from the time I have started cooking and trying out new recipes. Participating in this contest is only my way of embarking on this new journey. Since this is part of Round 1: Alphabet Soup of #BeautifulFood and requires posting of no images, I am only sharing the recipe that we follow.

You can make Shorshe Paneer this way:

  • You need to prepare 2 tablespoons of mustard paste by mixing mustard powder in water and keeping it for 10 minutes or by making a paste with soaked mustard seeds for 10-20 minutes and mixing it in a mixer. In the meantime, chop paneer into cubes (about 20-25 pieces).
  • To the mustard paste, add salt according to taste, 3 tablespoons of curd and 2-3 green chillies and mix well.
  • Keep the paneer for marinating in the mustard paste and leave aside for a while.
  • In a non-stick or heavy bottomed wok which has a fitting lid, add 2.5 tablespoons mustard oil and heat it up properly.
  • Add the marinated paneer and stir properly. Bring the heat down to low heat level and keep the wok covered with lid for 4-5 minutes.
  • Open the lid and check the water that has been released from the curd. Stir the paneer again and add salt, if you feel is required. Cover the wok once again for about 3-4 minutes.
  • Open the lid and cook for about 1-2 minutes and stir to mix the paneer properly. Turn off the heat and serve in a beautiful glass serving dish from Borosil. Serve with hot plain white rice.

PS: Serving is as crucial as cooking the food. You can check out different kitchen glassware from Borosil here

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Debjani Baidyaray