Sanoli's Kitchen: December 2013

Monday, December 30, 2013


The banana tree is one of those few species where each part is used in some way, be it the leaves which are used for eating food or wrapping food, the fruit which is eaten in the form of raw or ripe, the flower or stem which is also consumed. The stem is cooked in various ways in South Indian Cuisine and in West Bengal. It is rich in fiber and helps in weight loss. It also helps prevent high blood pressure and maintain fluid balance within the body. It is used prevent and treat kidney stones. 'Thor' is tender inner part of 'Banana Plant'. Plantain stem or banana pith or thor is a very popular ingredient in Bengali vegetarian cuisine. In my childhood days, oftenly seen this recipe was made by my Grand Ma. This is an extremely delicious dish. Chopping 'thor' is treaky and really time consuming task. My Ma used to make 'Thor Chenchki' or 'Thor Ghonto', I relished those recipes, but this one is a very special and toothsome dish which I love the most.


1 ft Long Banana Pith / Stem (Thor)
1/2 Cup Gobindo Bhog Rice / Kalo Jeera Rice / Basmati Rice
1 Cup Warm Water
1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 Whole Dried Red Chilli
Whole Garam Masala (1" Cinnamon, 2 Cloves)
1 Bay Leaf
3/4 tsp Ginger Paste
1/2 tsp Cumin Paste
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder (as per taste)
1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds (paste)
1/2 tsp Coriander Powder
Few Cashew Nuts
Few Raisins
2 tbsp Clarified Butter (ghee)
1 tbsp Oil
Sugar to taste
Salt to taste


Wash and clean banana stem nicely. Chop it finely or in very tiny cubes and soak it in water. Mix turmeric powder and little salt with it (otherwise they will turn black like chopped potatoes) and set it aside for 30  minutes.
Wash rice nicely. Heat 1 tsp clarified butter in a pan. Add rice, fry slowly for 2-3 minutes and keep it aside.
Add oil and remaining clarified butter in the same pan / wok. Slowly fry cashew nuts and raisins, remove from oil and set it aside.
On the same pan / wok, add cumin seeds, bay leaves, whole dried red chili and garam masala. Saute for few seconds. Add ginger and cumin paste, lower the heat now and keep stirring for a minute or two.
Drain water completely from banana stem by squeezing it nicely and add it to the pan/wok. Cook it in low heat till the water completely evaporates.
Now add fried rice, cashew nuts, raisins and 1 cup warm water in it. Fold well and cook till rice is tender. (Finally, rice and banana pith need to look seperate from each other)

Serve warm with plain steamed rice. Enjoy this toothsome Bengali delicacy.
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Sunday, December 29, 2013


This is a basic baked version of a creamy classic dessert. The authentic creamy cheese cake will definitely add a taste to any dining table or Christmas party. A real rich, creamy and mouth melting cheese cake that always makes a great dinner party. It is a perfect combination of tangy and sweet with a smooth and rich texture, which is wonderful for entertaining. Just tryout, you will surely fall love in it!!!



40 gm / 1.4 oz Butter (softened)
120 gm / 4.2 oz Vanilla Wafers


226 gm / 8 oz Philadelphia Cream Cheese
150 cc Whipping Cream or Fresh Cream
3 tbsp Self Raising Flour
70 gm / 2.5 oz Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tbsp Lemon Zest
1 tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
20 gm / 0.7 oz Butter (melted)


Line the pan with parchment paper / baking paper.
Place vanilla wafers in a ziploc bag. By using your hands smash it nicely.
Add 40 gm butter and mix it thoroughly.
Press firmly into the pan by using the bottom of a glass and chill in refrigerator for 1 hour or until set.
Preheat oven to 180 C. Beat softened cream cheese in a bowl. Add sugar in it. Blend again.
Add 2 beaten eggs little by little and whisk the mixture well.
Pour 150 cc whipped cream / fresh cream in it. Mix nicely.
Add lemon juice , lemon zest and shift flour in it.
Lastly, add 20 gm melted butter, fold well.

Pour the mixture onto the pan above crust. Bake for 40 minutes. Allow to cool to the room temperature and refrigerate for 3 hours.

Cut the cheese cake into bars and serve. May wrap each bar with plastic wrapper and refrigerate for a week.
For original recipe Click here....

Saturday, December 28, 2013


This is a very easy, quick and extremely delectable shrimp recipe, seasoned with garlic lemon butter. It is originated from Italian cuisine, but now-a-days familiar with maximum food lovers. A very healthy twist with vegetables (bell pepper & asparagus) and shrimp, is a refreshing spring meal. When shrimp cooked in the heavenly buttery and delightful juices, will surely snach your tastebuds luscious and it will be a pleasure to all too.
1 lb Asparagus
1 Green Bell Pepper
1 medium Onion
1/2 tsp freshly gratedLemon Zest
1/2 Tomato (chopped)
5 cloves minced Garlic
35 medium sized Shrimp (peeled & deveined)
1/2 cup Milk
1/2 cup Vegetable/chicken broth
1 tsp Cornstarch
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp Garlic pepper (coarsely pounded)
1/2 tsp Black pepper powder
1 tbsp finely chopped Parsley
3 tbsps Olive Oil
1 tbsp Butter
Salt to taste


Trim asparagus and cut in 1" lenghs. Cut onion and bell pepper in cubes.

Heat 2 tbsps olive oil in a non stick pan. Add onion, bell pepper and asparagus in it. Saute for 3-4 minutes.

Add lemon zest and 1/2 tsp salt in it.

Add tomato in it. Cover and cook for another 4-5 minutes.

Sprinkle little garlic pepper and black pepper powder on it. Fold nicely. Transfer the cooked vegetables on a serving tray. Keep it warm.

Add another 1 tbsp olive oil and butter in the same pan.

Add minced garlic in it. Saute for 40 seconds, till it gives a nice aroma. Add shrimp, remaining garlic pepper , black pepper powder and little salt in it. Fry for another 3-4 minutes, till shrimp turns pinkish in colour.

Combine milk, vegetable/chicken broth and cornstarch in a bowl. Stir nicely, so that cornstarch dissolves in it. Now pour in on the shrimp. Keep stirring till the gravy gets medium thick and shrimp gets cooked. Remove from heat. Add lemon juice and parsley in it. Fold nicely.

Serve shrimp and sauce over the cooked vegetables. Enjoy this delicious dish with pasta or quinoa or French bread.


"Litti-Chokha-Chutney" is a very delicious speciality of Bihar. Bihari cuisine is simple and wholesome. 'Litti' a baked salted wheat flour cake filled with sattu (roasted chickpea flour) and some special Indian spices. There are many versions of this dish. This is a delicacy which is liked by every group of people whether rich or poor. Litti-Chokha-Chutney is now making its presence internationally.


1&1/2 Cup Wheat Flour (atta)
1/2 Cup Self-Raising Flour (maida)
6 tbsp Oil
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 Cup Melted Clarified Butter (desi ghee)

1 Cup Sattu (roasted bengal gram flour)
1 tsp Carom Seeds / ajwaan (roasted and crushed)
1 tsp Nigella Seeds / Kalonji (roasted and crushed)
1 tbsp Dried Mango / Amchur Powder
1 tbsp Mango pickle spice and its oil
6-8 Pods of Garlic (minced)
1/2" Ginger (minced)
2-3 Finely Chopped Green Chilies
2 tbsp Finely Chopped Coriander Powder
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
2 tsps Mustard Oil
Salt to taste

1 Large Tomato
2 Medium Sized Potatoes (parboiled with skin)
1 Eggplant / Brinjal / Begun (500 gm approx)
1 Big Onion (finely chopped)
5-6 Pods of Garlic (minced)
2 tbsps Chopped Coriander Leaves / Cilantro
2-3 Chopped Green Chilies (or as per taste)
1 tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
1 tbsp Mustard Oil
Salt to taste

50 gm Coriander Leaves / Cilantro
2-3 Green Chilies
4 Pods Garlic
1/4" Ginger
2 tbsp Tamarind Pulp
1 tsp Mustard Oil
Salt to taste

For making outer cover of litti, sieve wheat flour and self raising flour, add oil and salt. Knead a stiff dough by using water. Cover with a wet cloth and keep it aside.

Make lemon sized (approx 2.5" diameter) 10 balls out of it and set it aside.

In the mean time, combine all spices, sattu, coriander leaves, lemon juice, mustard oil, salt and pickle in a bowl. Mix them nicely by hand. Make sure all spices including pickle mixed very well. Now sattu filling is ready to stuff.

Preheat oven to 200 C. Put 1 tbsp sattu filling in the centre of each ball. Close it firmly from all sides.

Place all the littis on a baking tray.

Bake for 15 minutes. Turn the opposite sides of littis and grill for 10 minutes.

Take out and dip on pure desi ghee (clarified butter) and serve immediately with mixed chokha and chutney.

Roast eggplant, tomato and parboiled potato over low heat.

Peel the skin of eggplant, tomato and potato nicely. Set aside.

Heat mustard oil in a pan or wok. Add minced garlic and green chilies in it.

Saute for 30-40 seconds followed by adding chopped onion. Fry for 2 minutes.

Add mashed tomato and salt in it. Fry for another minute.

Now add roughly mashed potato and eggplant. Fry for a minute and turn off heat now.

Add coriander leaves and lemon juice. Fold nicely.

Serve this chokha with litti.

Grind coriander leaves, ginger, garlic, green chilies, tamarind pulp and salt for a minute to make a smooth homogenous paste. Add mustard oil in it. Yummy Hara Dhaniya Chutney is ready to serve with litti and chokha.

Enjoy your dinner with super delicious litti, mixed chokha and hara dhaniya chutney.

  1. In cities, it is not possible to make 'litti' traditionally roasted over "chulha" or "angithi". But I baked it in electric oven, you may use  microoven for grilling it. If you don't have any oven, just heat a non stick pan on medium heat, arrange littis on it, cover it with a heavy lid and reduce the heat. Check after 10 minutes and turn over the other side of littis. Cook other side also for 10 minutes. Lastly, roast those littis on direct flame for giving that grilling effect.
  2. Few people are allergetic on eggplant, if you don't like, just omit it. Potato-tomato chokha is also very delicious. May add 1 tsp mustard paste at the end and mix well, it is also be a great combo with litti.
  3. Chutney can be stored in refrigerator upto an week.
  4. I roasted parboiled potato to get its smokey flavor, which gave an authentic taste and flavor to chokha.