Friday, June 28, 2013

Prawn Paturi / Chingri Paturi / A Special Edition Guest Post

     Think of West Bengal , and that brings Rabindra sangeet ,beautiful movies and the elegant Shantineketan bags :) to my mind. I adore the women in crisp Bengal cotton sarees with a heavy bunch of keys on their back and the conch bangles jingling as the they move.  Never been to Bengal but my Bengali friends tell me Kerala looks almost like their place. Well a significant similarity other than political ideology and the aesthetic taste would definitely be the love of rice and seafood delicacies.

Here is one such beautiful Bengali friend of mine bringing us a seafood dish She is Chitrangada of Color and Spices.  A blogger who effortlessly cooks famous recipes and substantiates it with excellent photographs.

Chitrangada  has a distinct style of writing very descriptive introduction to recipes.  She emphasizes on sticking with the original, doing it  from scratch and gives in depth detail on the scene with all when, how, why answers which interests me the most .Check out  Macher Kaliya where  she says about 'Bong' or Roganjosh  how about some Kerala crab curry  with how to clean crab, does that bring  a smile on ur face then let it stay there because there is whole lot of  Bengali sweets .Most sweets are milk based , have  a look and I promise u will be dying  to have some so  check out Misti doi Chomchom ,Sandesh  and my favorite melt in the mouth Rasagullas with some trade secrets yum yumm..

 Was it not a feast but wait Chitrangada runs a virtual baking section too. Focaccia, pizza  then... then.. ok do one thing u guys do the choosing later.If there  is any newbie blogger out there take a look at her pictures and you will notice that she puts so much attention to detail,.the images look so real and as if right in front of you.The food has a beautiful sheen which is well captured.She is definitely a blogger to look out for.





 Over to Chitrangada

Hello everyone,
I'm Chitrangada. Before I start I want to thank Meena for giving me this opportunity to share my love and passion for cooking with you all. Thank you so much, it means a lot to me.

1. Tell me more about you...

I belong to a simple Bengali family. My love for food turned me a to self taught cook, who loves to experiment with different cuisine and new ingredients. Being a Bengali the regular dishes I cook are mostly Bengali and Indian. But I love Italian, Mediterranean, South-East Asian foods as well. To be frank I'm a foodie, if it tastes good then I'm game, such a foodie I'm. For last one year I have fallen for baking. There was a time I was really nervous about that, but now baking a fresh batch of cupcakes or a bread are a pleasure for me. My other passion is photography. I equally enjoy my phone camera as well as my DSLR. When I don't cook or click I love reading, from cookbooks to fictions or watch a movie.

2. What type of food do you cook on weeknights?

Being a wife and mom I need to cook daily. We don't need any special occasion to bake a cake or prepare some exotic dish, everyday is special for us when we are together. Friday nights are special after busy weekdays, when I bake a fresh pizza for us, or stir up a quick restaurant style sweet and sour chicken or healthy pita-hummus. Or a simple quick easy egg biryani fits our Friday night dinner perfectly.



3.How do you plan for your blog post?

I don't plan much before I post. But I always make it a point before I post a recipe I try it for me and my family, I post only when I find it to be satisfactory. For the recipes I consult cookbooks, and of course Google. If it's a traditional recipe I do call my mother and mom-in-law to discuss.  I try to capture the steps of the cooking so it would be easier for the readers to re-create the dish in their kitchen. About styling the food I entirely follow my instinct. I use whatever limited props I have collected for last few years. I'm sure all of you will agree that props are never enough, we always want some more. Having some white plates and bowls and few wooden backgrounds are must for me. I prefer to shoot during daytime, for two reasons, to utilize the daylight, moreover during that time there is no one at home to disturb me. You may laugh at this, sometimes I spent more time to shoot a food than to cook it, but it's true. Writing the recipe and taking the food photo are two things that take up my major time of blogging.

4.Which part of blogging do you enjoy most?
When someone appreciates and above all when others give me a feedback on how much they loved the dishes they made following my recipes.

5.Which are the best recipes your family and friends enjoy most that you would like the readers to try?

My little one loves the homemade cakes and breads for snack, and of course the chicken and fish dishes. The man loves sweets, so I make them often for him. A party at my place always have the tikka kebab on the menu. Traditional bengali dishes both vegetarian and non-vegetarian are also loved by all.



Thanks to Meena to giving this platform to share my story. Thanks for her patience to answer my silliest questions and continuously encouraging me to do this post. I was not sure about what to cook for this guest post,  so I again poked Meena to help me to decide. And as she suggested some traditional Bengali dish I opted for something with fish. We Bongs are famous for our different fish dishes. So here is a very traditional Bengali dish for you all.

                                                    Prawn Paturi




Fish Paturi is a traditional delicacy of Bengal. Paturi is essentially a piece of marinated fish wrapped in banana leaf and cooked to perfection. Mustard paste and green chilies are the main ingredients for the marination. And of course mustard oil is the other must to add ingredient in a paturi. Bhetki fish being fleshy, flavorful and easy to fillet, is the first choice for making paturi. Next in the line are Hilsa, rohu or other fishes.

My all time favorite is a traditional bhetki paturi. But unfortunately we don't get fresh bhetki fillets here. So I tried my another favorite, prawn to make paturi.


Things needed to make Prawn Paturi:

  • Large prawns: 6
  • Black mustard paste: 1.5 tbsp
  • Yellow mustard paste: 1.5 tbsp
  • Poppy seed paste: 3 tbsp
  • Coconut paste: 6-8 tbsp
  • Green chilies: 6-8
  • Turmeric powder: 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Mustard oil: 1/4 cup
  • Banana leaf to wrap the prawns
  • Kitchen twine

Steps of making Prawn Paturi:


1. Clean, devein and wash the prawn. Smear the prawn with salt and turmeric powder, keep aside for 15 min.

2. Prepare all the paste. While making the mustard paste add a pinch of salt and a green chili to the grinder, that will prevent the mustard paste taste bitter.


3. In a bowl mix all the paste, mustard, poppy, coconut add mustard oil, salt, turmeric powder, mix well. Marinate the prawns in this mixture for 30-40 min.

4. Cut and wash the banana leaves to required size. Banana leaves are very fragile, breaks easily if you fold them. To prevent that heat the leaves over medium flame, the leaves will change color to darker green and will be easily fold-able.


5. Place a banana leaf, put a prawn with some marinate on the leaf, drizzle a spoon full of mustard oil and a stilted green chili, wrap the leaf to cover the prawn, tie with a kitchen twine. Repeat the process for all other prawns.


6. Brush a heavy bottom pan with mustard oil, place the prawns wrapped in banana leaves in a single layer. Cook over medium heat for 15 min. Turn in between.


7.Take out from the pan and let rest for 5-6 min. Serve with hot steaming rice. And discard the banana leaf before eating.




Thank you so much Chitrangada . My Bengal ties are stronger now:). Wish your blog all the good luck.Hope you succeed in all your endeavors in the years to come.

I am sure my Malayali friends would be thinking the prawn paturi is the look alike of meen polichathu :) except for the regional difference of using mustard  and mustard oil  instead of coconut  products.So now you know why I visit the blog often :)

Dear readers Color and Spices has many windows open so shower your likes through whichever social media you would prefer. I am sure won't want to miss this happening place.

Hope you guys liked this special edition - Guest post  so all you lovely people out there let us know.

Meena



39 comments:

  1. Thanks a lot Meena for giving me this great platform. Can't think of a better place to post my first guest post than this. Thanks for showering me with so many wonderful adjectives. I'm feeling honored.

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  2. Hey Chitrangada,
    It is such a pleasure to have you here.You are such a talented blogger,no word is an exaggeration.Thank you so much for coming over and being part of my space.

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  3. wow ,looks so stunning all clicks.so tempted to try them.she has a wonderful blog,amazing clicks.wonderful guest post Meena.

    btw Thanks for trying out my venthaya kulambu and so happy u r daughter enjoyed it too.thanks for posting in the facebook too.Thanks a many.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you,Meena. Do check out Chitrangada's space.
      Meena ,about venthaya kuzhambu it was really good dear.

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  4. Sounds tooo yum, Loved the awesome post and all the wonderful clicks :) Loved the chit chat with Chitrangada... Kudos Meena for showcasing such a wonderful guest post :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Divya,for all ur encouragement here and fbk. It means a lot to me.
      Chitrangada is an awesome blogger do visit her space when u get a chance.

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  5. Kudos to you Meena for hosting. .and this indeed is a great side dish. Glad to know more abt Chitrangada too.

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    1. Thank you,Sona. Do visit her space when u find time.

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  6. Wow such a wonderful post :) lovely meeting Chitrangada and to know about her. The prawns looks so delicious :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you,Rekha. Can I say do visit her and do try this please:)

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    2. She has a wonderful space and Meena not often that I cook prawns as much as I like to as my hubby is allergic to shellfish.. if I do its a herculean task.. I will have to wash all the utensils at least twice in hot water bla bla..... but sure giving this a try when I buy prawns next :)))

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    3. Reks u came back !! again!:)))) come on no worries dear,I totally understand.

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  7. What a delicious dish...loved that guest post meena...chit you did great...

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Divya,Ya Chit did great as usual right!

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  8. Wonderful guest post...and it does luk like our pollichathu!!! In fact I've a Bengali colleague who keeps telling me, Rafeeda, u r my sister bcoz we love cotton, coconut, fish n communism!!! Hehe... wud definitely move on to Chitrangada's space 4 sure... though prawns is not my baby, this looks so mouthwatering...

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    Replies
    1. He hee...Rafee that is lot of c 's to love.I know !
      Thank you dear. I know u are allergic to squid prawnum allergy annoo.Anyway u can try it with other fish too if u like.

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  9. We have something similar like this dish over. Just that the prawns are chopped before wrapping into parcels. I surely am admiring how succulents the prawns are and its just so lovable.

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    Replies
    1. Wow that must be really tasty hope to see the recipe in ur space some time.Thank you,Nava.

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  10. Meena - I loved the way u introduce Chitrangada ...calling out different dishes left my mouth watering....I must say, Job of a host well played :)...Also it was an interesting recipe to go through :)

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    1. Thank you,Anupa.U made my day ! Donoo if I did real justice but honestly I have drooled over many of her dishes.

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  11. Great guest post.....the dish looks absolutely amazing !loved the way u've introduced her blog,makes me want to hop over immediately ...!

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  12. nice guest post. looks so tempting even for vegetarian like me.

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  13. congratulations meena, this is a beautiful post by ur guest. I ve been satying very close to bengal and i know that without a dash of fish the bengali curry remains incomplete. I am a great lover of prawn and this paturi dish is just superb.

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    1. Hey Sush ,thank you.Do try Chitrangada's recipe and her space is a must visit since u love Bengali dishes.

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  14. Great recipe.. Wonderful guest post Meena.. Loved the chit-chat session with Chitrangada :-)

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  15. Am drooling seeing the pics.. Its a very great guest post Meena :) And am bookmarking this recipe too.. Will try it out :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Chitz.Do let me know,Chitrangada too will be happy to hear about that :)

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  16. gorgeous clicks ! Thanks Meena for introducing Chitrangada. the post is lovely !

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  17. yummy recipe..beautiful clicks & thanks for introducing Chitrangada..loved the whole post

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  18. looking tasty... and very well explained.. would love to follow this blog..

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    1. Thank you Contest.Do follow please :)

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  19. lovely pictures and awesome guest post .I want to know ur picture secrets ..hahaha

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Your visits make me feel happy ,do come often.
Let me know ur suggestions so I will know you came :)

Thanks a bunch
Meena