Times of Oman
Oman dining: Try some traditional Bengali food
September 25, 2017 | 7:10 PM
by Oneza Tabish
Try chingri malai curry which is mandatory in Bengali cuisine.
 
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Chingri Malai Curry

Delectable prawns cooked in hot spices and creamy flavour of coconut milk. Chingri refers to the river prawns. This preparation is mandatory in Bengali cuisine.

INGREDIENTS

• 400g prawns



• 3 tablespoons mustard oil

• 2 teaspoons sugar

• 1/2 tablespoon whole cumin

• 2 tablespoons ginger paste

• 2 teaspoons cumin powder

• 1 teaspoon chilli powder

• 1 teaspoon turmeric powder

• 2 green chillies, slit

• 1 1/4 cup coconut milk

• Salt to taste

• 1 teaspoon garam masala

• 2 teaspoons ghee

PREPARATION

Blanch the prawns in turmeric water. Heat mustard oil in a pan and add sugar and whole cumin. Add ginger paste, cumin powder, red chilli powder and turmeric powder and sauté. Now add the prawns and slit green chillies and stir for few minutes. Add the coconut milk, cook for 5 more minutes and then add salt. Towards the end sprinkle garam masala and ghee on top and serve.

Kosha Mangsho

Chunks of succulent lamb cooked in an onion-ginger-garlic gravy with generous portions of tomatoes, plain yoghurt, and pure mustard oil, will give you the fiery and spicy mutton kosha or kosha mangsho or Bengali mutton curry.

INGREDIENTS

For the marinade

•1/2kg mutton

• 1/2 cup hung yoghurt

• 1 teaspoon ginger paste

• 1 teaspoon garlic paste

• 1 tablespoon mustard oil

For the gravy

• 2 tablespoons mustard oil

• 2 black cardamom

• 3-4 green cardamom

• 1 inch stick cinnamon

• 2-3 cloves

• 2 bay leaf

• 3-4 dry red chillies

• 1 teaspoon sugar

• 1 1/2 cup onion, thinly sliced

• 1 teaspoon ginger, chopped

• 1 teaspoon garlic, chopped

• 1/2 cup tomato, chopped

• 2 teaspoons coriander powder

• 1 teaspoon turmeric powder

• 2 teaspoons red chilli powder

• 1 teaspoon cumin powder

• Salt to taste

•1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder

• 2 tablespoons lemon juice

• Fresh coriander

PREPARATION

Mix all the ingredients for the marinade and marinate for 3-4 hours. Heat mustard oil in a pressure cooker. Slightly crush black cardamom, green cardamom, cinnamon and cloves. When the oil is hot, add bay leaf, crushed garam masala, dry red chillies and sugar and fry for a few seconds. Add onion and fry until slightly browned. Add ginger and garlic and fry until nicely browned. Add tomatoes and cook for two minutes. Add the mutton pieces along with the marinade and fry for 5-6 minutes on high heat. Add coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, cumin powder, and salt and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add a cup of water and pressure cook until mutton is done. Remove the pressure cooker from heat and let the pressure release. Open the lid and add garam masala powder and lemon juice and mix well. Cook for another 3-4 minutes until the gravy is slightly thickened. Garnish with fresh coriander. Serve hot with luchi (puri) or basanti pulao.




Chicken Rezala


Chicken rezala with roasted almonds is a classic dish from the Nawabi era of India. Rezala speaks about the rich and delectable influence of Nawabi culinary finesse on rustic Bengali cuisine.

INGREDIENTS

• 500g chicken

• 1 cup onion paste

• 1 cup yoghurt

• 1 tablespoon ginger - garlic paste (optional)

• 2-3 red chillies

• 2 bay leaves

• Few cloves, cinnamon, mace and a pinch of grated nutmeg

• Sugar, freshly ground pepper and salt to taste

• 2 tablespoons ghee

•Kewra water/screw pine nut water, few drops

•Roasted almonds and dry red chillies for garnishing (optional)

PREPARATION

For marination mix 1/2 cup onion paste with 1/2 cup beaten yoghurt along with a tablespoon of ginger-garlic paste, salt and 2 red chillies. Marinate the chicken for two hours. Blend the remaining onion paste with the yoghurt and set aside. Heat ghee in a pan and temper it with cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves, mace, red chillies, and grated nutmeg. Sauté for few seconds till it releases aroma. Now spoon out the pieces of chicken from the marinade and add to the oil carefully, and let it stir fry for 10 minutes. Next add the marinade along with the mixture of onion paste with yoghurt and cook for few minutes. Add further the ginger-garlic paste and freshly pounded pepper powder, continue cooking on low heat, add sugar and salt to taste. Do not add any water as the onion, yoghurt, and chicken will ooze out enough liquid. Mix it well with the chicken and cover and simmer on low heat till done. Add few drops of kewra water or rose-water to the chicken. Garnish with roasted almonds and dry chilli flakes before serving.




Apple Sandesh


A delectable dessert of the Bengali cuisine that’s known the world over. Sandesh balls are topped with an apple mixture with a tangy punch of lime. Strands of saffron impart a rich hue and aroma to this Bengali dessert.

INGREDIENTS

For the Apple Mixture

• 3/4 cup grated apples

• 1 teaspoon lemon juice

• 2 tablespoons sugar

• 1/2 teaspoon saffron strands

For the Sandesh

• 1/2 cup crumbled paneer or cottage cheese

• 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

• 4 teaspoons low fat milk

• A few drops of kewra essence

PREPARATION

For the apple mixture

Warm the saffron and rub with a little water until it dissolves. Add the lemon juice, sugar, 1 tablespoon of water and the grated apples and cook on a medium flame for 8 to 10 minutes, while stirring occasionally.

For the sandesh

Combine all the ingredients in a mixture and blend till smooth. Refrigerate for 15 minutes and shape into round balls. Place the sandesh balls on a serving plate, top with apple mixture and serve immediately.

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