Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Narkol Bhath & Palang Saag Curry for RCI Bengal

When I was looking up recipes for RCI Bengal one evening, I had some criteria for selecting a recipe. Being that this had to be prepared when little M was present & also be ready in time for dinner, minimum prep & quick cooking were requisites. This recipe fit the bill perfectly. Here's my slightly tweaked version of the Narkol Bhath.

2 tbsp oil
1 tsp jeera
4-5 each cloves, cardamoms, black peppercorns
1-2 red chillies
1/2 tsp turmeric
4 tbsp coconut shreds
1 cup rice
salt to taste
fried cashews & raisins

Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Add jeera, cloves, peppercorns and cardamoms. Fry for a minute or so. I added red chillies for extra heat, that was not in the original recipe. Add coconut shreds & turmeric and fry until slightly brown. Add rice & fry for a few seconds. Add water and salt to taste. Cover & cook. Add the fried cashews and raisins before serving.

Palang Saag Curry - now, that is my own creation. The only Bong ingredient was the panchphoran! Plus I'm calling it by it's Bangla name but I wouldn't categorize it as a true-blue Bengali curry! Here's what I did. Tempered the oil with panchphoran. Fried chopped onion in it. Added spinach and tomatoes & cooked until tender. Added turmeric, dhania-jeera powder, garam masala powder, tamarind paste, sugar and salt to taste. Added some milk and water and brought to a boil. It made a nice accompaniment for the Bhath.

This goes to my friend Sandeepa, who is hosting the Bengal edition of RCI, an event started by Lakshmi. Thank you both!

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indosungod said...

I like the sound of Narkol Bhath I am sure flavorful and delicious. Did little M like the dish given that she watched you make it :)

Kalai said...

This rice dish looks delicious!! Nice one! :)

Meera said...

Just like indosungod said, I loved the sound of Narkol Bhath. Now the dish that even sounds delicious, must have tasted super delicious!!:-) Wonderful entry.

Cham said...

The saag and rice combo look great. Should have tasted delicious too :)

Sagari said...

delcious combo vani

ms said...

I love the names, they roll off the tongue beautifully. I also love your creative palang saag. It sounds really delicious.

Vani said...

ISG - I wish M would eat all that she watches being prepared! M is a very fussy eater. She loves to watch the cooking though and from the noises she makes while the food is being prepared, you'd think she'll eat it all but of course, when the time comes to eat, she is not interested! :( She did try this one though!

Kalai- thanks! :)

Meera - The name has a nice sound to it and yeah, it was great tasting too :)

Cham - thanks! It sure did! :)

Sagari - thanks :)

ms- Bengali dishes do sound nice, don;t they? I think Bengali as a language is beautiful! The saag turned out creamy and nice.

Linda said...

Hey Super-Mom, they both look and sound wonderful! And the best part -- quick and easy too! Esp. love that panch phoron with spinach, yum :)

Sandeepa said...

Vani, thanks dear for two such wonderful dishes. I haven't tried narkol bhath sounds yummy and the spinach too

AnuZi said...

Delicious! and man I love easy recipes...all the more to cook in my kitchen :o) thanks for sharing dahling.

Mansi Desai said...

I love palak dal, and I keep adding different dals for variety! that looks delicious vani:)

Vani said...

Linda - super-mom, huh? I wish I was :) Quick & easy dishes, the only way I can get dinner done fresh! :)

Sandeepa- thanks! and a big thank you for hosting the rci! :)

Anuzi - thanks! most of my recipes are quick & relatively easy ones. No toiling over the stove for me :) Glad you liked them, AZ!

Mansi - I love palak dal too, though no dal was involved in this particular curry.

Pooja said...

That looks yummy Vani. Rice dish is so nicely presented . I got confused while choosing another region's cuisines and choose one with least risk in cooking and making perfectly :D. Unlike me you made such a delicious entry for Bengali cuisine. Kudos to you girl :)

Mallugirl said...

narkol bhaath sounds so exotic!! very nice entry indeed.

Swati Raman Garg said...

narkol bhath sounds interesting.. i just couldnt come up with something bengali .. :( better luck next time...

Sandeepa said...

yeah Palang saag is spinach. Pui or Pohi saag is another kind, I do not know the english name. Sometimes the patel in NJ carries the Poi/Pui/Pohi Saag. It is coooked and tastes different from spincah

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Vani said...

Pooja - thanks! I do the same as you, when it comes to unnown territory - choose recipe that has the least chance of getting bungled! :)

Shaheen- thanks! :)

Sandeepa- thanks for the info! Looks like I got it right after all. I think I know what pui saag is - the Indian stores call them "red leaves" or something like that. I wonder if that is the same as amaranth leaves. hmm..

Swati - Narkol bhat was very different from any Indian rice dish I've tasted. We have our own version (Kannadiga) of coconut rice but that is very different from this. And hey, don;t feel bad about not participating. You do what you can when you can do it, right?

Cooking - thanks for your comment! Had a quick look at your site but unfortunately, I cannot read Japanese. I hope you get a chance to post in English sometime.

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