A Fantastic Spread of Traditional Dishes For You to Try at Home

Pahela Baishakh invites a colour of celebrations, and food happens to be at the top of the list. The assortments of deshi dishes, both sweet and savoury, never fail to tease our taste buds. In the spirit  this joyous occasion, we lay out a grand Baishakh spread from the finest hotels, which will make the new year just a little more special.  
Photographs by Din M Shibly
Grandiose Restaurant,
Dhaka Regency Hotel & Resort
Chef A.T.M Ahmed Hossain
Director Food & Beverage
Sous Chef Awlad Hossain

Pabda Macher Dopiaza

Ingredients
5-6 pieces medium sized Pabda fish
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped tomato
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tsp ginger paste
The following to be made into a thick paste with ¼ cup water
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp salt
Cooking oil 2-3 tbsp plus for frying fish
Salt to taste

Preparation
Marinade the fish in oil, turmeric powder and salt. Fry the fish in hot oil for 3-4 mints each side and keep separate. Heat oil; add chopped garlic and ginger. Fry it well for 1-2 minutes at med-high flame. Add onions. Fry till they change colour. Make a thick paste in ¼ cup water. Add in turmeric powder, chilli powder, cumin, coriander powder, and salt. Now add the thick masala paste into it. Fry it well for 9-10 mints on medium flame.If required, add a little water. Add the fried fish and tomato pieces. Lower the flame and cook for 10-15 minutes till they turn dry. Serve warm with rice.


Vegetable Khichuri

Ingredients
1 cup chinigura rice
1 cup dal
4 cups water
2 pieces onions (cut into cubes)
2 pieces green chilli
1/2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1 medium sized potato (cut into 4 pieces)
100 gm cauliflower
100 gm green papaya
1 piece tomato
100 gm carrots
¼ cup green peas (fresh or frozen)
Salt to taste
Dry powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
¼ tsp garam masala powder
1 tbsp oil
1/4 tsp whole black pepper
Seasoning
2-3 tsp ghee
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 red chilli

Preparation
Wash and soak rice and dal for 30 minutes in hot water. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, jeera seeds. Once the seeds sizzle, add whole black pepper. Then add chopped onions and sauté until onions turn transparent. Add ginger and garlic paste and sauté for a few more minutes.
Now add the chopped potatoes and the vegetables. Add turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder and sauté for 2-3 seconds. Then add the soaked dal and rice and sauté for a few more seconds. Add 4 cups water and salt and bring it to boil. Close the cooker and pressure cook and simmer for another 3-4 minutes. Once the pressure subsides, open the cooker and mix it gently. Now, heat 3 tsp ghee, add cumin seeds, when it sizzles, add a red chilli, finely chopped garlic, sauté for a few seconds and pour it over the khichuri. Serve khichuri hot with pickles.


Chitol Macher Kofta Curry

Ingredients
For the kofta
250 gms minced boneless chitol fillet
1 tsp ginger paste
½ tsp garlic paste
Salt to taste
½ tsp chilli powder
¼ tsp cumin powder
1 beaten egg
For the gravy
½ cup onion paste
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp chilli powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp coriander powder
¼ tsp cumin powder
Salt to taste
2 tbsp oil
4 green chillies

Preparation
Mix all the ingredients mentioned for the kofta. Make 1 inch diameter size fish balls with the mixture. The egg will serve as a glue to hold the entire mixture. Once done, refrigerate for 15-20 minutes. Boil water then put them in the water and poach for 2-3 minutes. Take out the balls from the water. Set the water aside as it will be used for making the gravy. In another pan, heat oil, add the onion paste, ginger paste, garlic paste, chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and salt. Cook adding the water which you had saved earlier. When the gravy becomes thick, put the koftas in it. Cover the lid and cook until you get the desired consistency. Add some green chillies and turn off the stove. Keep the pan on the stove covered for 5 minutes until the oil separates. Serve with aromatic or basmati rice.


Roshmalai

Ingredients
1 cup powdered milk
3 eggs
1/4 tbsp baking powder
For the liquid
1 litre liquid milk
6 pieces green cardamoms
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp fresh cream or milk powder for thickening
Almonds and pistachios as required

Preparation
Mix the powdered milk, eggs and baking powder in a bowl. Knead soft dough and leave it for 30 minutes. Make small balls from the dough, boil milk in a pot and add green cardamoms and sugar to it. After the sugar is completely dissolved, add the milk balls and cook on low flame for 10-15 minutes, bring the milk to a simmer and gently pour the fresh cream or milk powder in. Allow for this to simmer for a couple of minutes. To garnish, chop almonds and pistachios and sprinkle on top.


Golap Jamun

Ingredients
For the jamuns
5 tbsp powdered milk
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 egg
Oil for frying
For the syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/8 tsp cardamom powder (optional)

Preparation
Place all the ingredients for the syrup into a sauce pan and bring to a boil on medium heat. When it starts boiling, stir well until the sugar dissolves. Turn off the stove but leave the saucepan on it. Add the milk powder, flour and baking soda in a bowl. Add the egg, 1 tbsp at a time and start kneading the dough. Knead until you get a smooth pliable dough. Divide the dough into 10 equal sized balls. They may look really small. Roll each ball between your palms until you get a very smooth surface. Make sure there are no cracks visible. Keep aside for 10 minutes. While the jamuns are resting, pour about 2 cups oil into a deep pan and start to heat on a low to medium heat. The key to getting perfect gulab jamuns is to fry the jamuns on a low heat so that they brown evenly on the outside and the inside gets cooked as well. When the oil is hot, drop the jamuns into the oil and gently move them around so that they brown evenly. This should take about 10 minutes. When the jamuns are golden brown, remove them with a slotted spoon and allow draining on a paper towel for about 2 minutes. Bring the syrup to a simmer and gently drop the jamuns into the syrup. Allow to simmer for a couple minutes. You will see the jamuns have become very soft. Remove and place in a serving dish. Pour the syrup over the jamuns. Serve warm or chilled as per your preference.


Lau er Kheer

Ingredients
2 litres fresh milk
400 gram sugar
1 small water gourd
7-8 pieces almond sliced
8-12 pieces cashew nuts sliced
4 tbsp pistachio chopped
2 tbsp fresh cream or milk powder
Dry fruits (as preferred)
4 pieces cardamom pods

Preparation
Peel the water gourd and remove seeds from the soft middle portion. Then use a salad grater to cut it into thin slices. Boil the milk with cardamom and reduce it to half by stirring frequently. Add grated water gourd into the milk and cook another 20 minutes. One it is cooked, add dry fruits, sugar and the nuts. Cook it again for another 10-15 minutes. Add fresh cream or milk powder and cook it for another 10 minutes in slow heat. Turn the heat of and garnish it with the mixed nut and dry fruits.

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