Recipes: 4 courses for a festive meal
Ranga Aloor Halua, Michri Brulee, Kalo Jaam Diskettes
A forgotten Bengali delicacy of gelatinous sweet potato confection, torched with palm candy and served with kalo jaam.
For Ranga Aloor Halwa:
500g peeled, boiled, mashed sweet potato
5g cardamom powder
For michri brulee:
20g palm candy (taal michri)
For Kalo Jaam Diskettes:
5 Kalo jaam
- Ranga Aloor Halwa: Take a non-stick pan, pour in ghee and fry sweet potato mash for 5 minutes. Add sugar and cook on low heat for at least eight minutes until sugar has dissolved completely. Add cream and keep on stirring until a creamy, lump-free mixture has formed. Add cardamom powder and fold in cashew and raisins. Cook the mixture for another five minutes until it forms dough-like consistency. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Michri Brulee: Take a small bowl and pour in palm candy. Put butter and mix roughly. Now using a hand-blender, quickly combine them to form a michri spread.
- Kalo Jaam Diskettes: Cut the sweets into circular diskettes and trim the edges to make them look identical.
Assembly: Take a ring mould and press in the sweet potato halwa to form a cylinder. Now evenly brush the top with the palm candy spread. Using a blowtorch, brulee the michri spread and serve cold with kalo jaam diskettes.
Lote, Boal & Shol Fritto Misto, Radhuni Infusion, Tok Jhaal Jol Jeera Treo
Italian deep-fried mix fritto misto gets a local makeover where fresh lote, boal and shol are fried in aromatic radhuni-infused oil and served with three flavours of sour, spicy jaljeera palate cleansers.
200g gutted and deboned Bombay duck or lote
200g Wallago catfish or boal, deboned and cut into roundels
200g skinned and diced snakehead murrel or shol
500g rice flour
2tsp baking powder
1tsp white pepper
For the radhuni infusion
100g wild celery
1l sunflower oil
For the tok jhaal jaljeera treo
60ml orange juice
15ml blue curacao
15ml kiwi concentrate
20g roasted cumin
1tsp rock salt
10g amchur powder
1tsp ground black pepper
1tsp red chilli powder
2tsp lemon juice
- For the batter: In a bowl, whisk together rice flour, baking powder, salt, pepper with little water to form a smooth pancake-like batter. Place the fish in the batter and keep aside for frying.
- For the radhuni infusion: Take a deep frying pan, pour in the sunflower oil and put on medium heat. Bring to boil and immediately turn off the heat. Let the oil cool for 10 minutes, and then gently release wild celery (radhuni) into the hot oil. Cover with lid and set aside overnight for the wild celery to infuse thoroughly and release essential oils and aroma into the oil
- For the tok jhaal jaljeera treo: Take orange juice, blue curacao and kiwi concentrate separately and mix well with one-third of all the rest of the ingredients to form three different flavours of sour and spicy jaljeera.
Assembly: Remove fish from batter, drain excess batter and fry in radhuni-infused oil in batches. Serve hot with tok jhaal jaljeera treo.
Kumro Phooler Nicoise, Sheem, Darjeeling Orange Vinaigrette
A composed salad using only local produce from Bengal
3 pumpkin blossoms
2 broad beans
4 blanched pumpkin leaves
1 diced radish
1 quartered boiled egg
1 ripe Darjeeling mandarin orange
4 cored Indian olives
- Juice mandarin orange.
- Add olive oil, a pinch of salt, pepper and grated orange peel and blend to make vinaigrette.
- Combine with rest of the ingredients except boiled eggs.
Assembly: On a plate, arrange boiled eggs and the composed salad and serve.
Risotto Di Basanti, Braised Crab Meat, Sholpa Patar Beurre Blanc
A creamy risotto of our favourite Basanti pulao, spiked with braised crab meat and served with dollops of dill-flavoured emulsified butter.
For Risotto di Basanti:
500g washed and soaked Gobindobhog rice
1 pinch saffron
3 bay leaves
3 cinnamon sticks
2 cups chicken broth
200ml white wine
200g grated parmesan cheese
For braised crab meat:
200g de-shelled crab meat
300ml white wine
For Sholpa Patar Beurre Blanc:
25g dil leaves
100ml white wine
- Risotto di Basanti: Take a heavy-bottomed pan and add ghee. Add cashew nuts and raisins and fry till golden brown. Now add bay leaves and cinnamon and roast for 10 seconds. Quickly stir in the cardamom and cloves to release aroma. Add Gobindobhog rice and toast until the edges have turned translucent. Pour in white wine and simmer for approximately three minutes until wine has completely reduced. Add chicken stock with a pinch of saffron and keep on cooking for 20 minutes until rice is al dente. Turn off the heat and stir in the grated parmesan cheese to finish
- Braised crab meat: Pan sear the crab meat lightly in butter to brown the edges. Now add white wine, cover and simmer on low flame for five minutes until cooked thoroughly. Turn off the heat, remove and put the pan on an ice bath to stop further cooking.
- Sholpa Patar Beurre Blanc: Bring white wine to boil over moderate heat. Add salt and cream and cook for three minutes until reduced. Add dill leaves with butter and keep on whisking constantly to form a sauce. Remove from heat, set aside to cool completely and refrigerate till solidified.
Assembly: Reheat the Basanti Pulao Risotto with a little butter, add braised crab meat and mix thoroughly. Serve hot immediately with dollops of Sholpa Pata Beurre Blanc.