Sunday, April 27, 2008
420 was definitely one of the most popular Bangla natoks. Some guy asked in my youtube post if anyone knows about the soundtracks used in this natok. As he guessed, the musics were not original, taken from other musics :)

Here are the ones that I have recognized.


Cotton eye joe - Venessa Mae
http://gagan.mazed.googlepages.com/cottoneyejoe-venessamaepreview.mp3


Martia's song - Deep forest
http://media.earth-rhythms.com/samples/msdfmix.mp3


Anasthasia - Deep forest
http://gagan.mazed.googlepages.com/anasthasiapreview.mp3





Please comment here if you have recognized some others.

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posted by Gagan at 4/27/2008 03:45:00 PM | Permalink | 0 comments


0 Comments:


Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Recipe: A General Formula of Cooking Indian / Bangladeshi Curry Dishes
=============================================

Here we are going to learn the basic formula of a curry. This recipe has been generalized. So you can use this to cook almost any curry - fish / beef/ chicken. Of course it does not cover exotic dishes.

I will also try to explain 'why to do that'. I have been always very interested to know why, cause that will give you more fun when you try to make some experimental dishes.

Does it seem too long text to read ? Well, just read once for lifetime :). I m sure you dont need to read this twice. Later you can just quickly take a look at the headlines.

step 1: Marination:
-------------------------

Marinate the main ingredient - usually meat.

How?
  • Start with an acidic base (fruit juices or vinegar are most common in recipes world wide). One Indian / Bangladesh specific base is Yogurt. By the way, acid tastes sour.
  • then add spices.
  • You can also add some oil.
  • And leave it for a while depending on the meat type. Chicken can be done very well in an hour whereas for beef, I would recommend 3/4 hours at least.


Why?
- It adds flavor more nicely, spices are very nicely mixed with the meat.
- It also helps to tenderize tough meat -
by breaking down the tissues.

Caution:

Too much acid can be bad to the end product. A good marination will have a balance of spices, acids, and oil.


Note:

In normal curry dishes we usually do not need to marinate. I have mentioned here cause this is a generalized formula and marination is the first step :)


Step 2: Add flavor from the dried 'whole' spice pieces

----------------------------------------------------------------

Heat up the oil and fry fresh cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, bay leaves etc to get the aroma and the flavor to the oil


How?
  • Heat up the oil, quite hot.
  • Add the fresh spices such as cinnamon +/ cardamom +/ cloves.
  • Stir occasionally.
  • You will definitely smell the aroma in a minute, otherwise clear your nose or throw your bad spices.
  • Optional: After frying for a while take the spices off the oil and put into your bio-garbage bin.


Why?
You can consider oil as the carrier of the spices. The chemicals in the spices that give the aroma are oil soluble, that's why oil will carry the flavors and take them out of the spices. If you try to reduce the amount of oil, considering the calorie, you will notice how dramatically it reduces the taste, even though there are enough spices !

The job of these spices are to give the flavor to the oil and they are not really eatable. You may hate to take them off while eating. So frying it at the first step gives you a chance to take them off the oil easily.

Note:
Too much oil means you gotta exercise to burn the extra calorie ;) and too less oil will definitely reduce the taste.


step 3: Onions - which is never too much !

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Heat the oil and deep fry onions until reddish brown.


How?
  • You already have a very hot oil on the pan.
  • Put finely chopped onions ( I prefer lots of).
  • keep stirring continuously. Chatting with your friend may result in some burnt onions.
  • Keep stirring until they are all ( all ) reddish brown and glossy. What's exactly reddish brown ? Well, I cant explain it, but you will learn by yourself :)


Why?
I dont think you will find any Indian / Bangladeshi dish without onion ! I believe this is base of the sauce. You can make the sauce thicker / ligher by adding/ removing onions. To my taste, the more onions, the better.


step 3: Spice mix
---------------------

The loveliest part. Add the spice mix to the oil and give it a quick fry in reduced heat.

How?
  • Take a small cup.
  • Add garlic paste, ginger paste, chili powder, turmeric powder ( very small amount, as it is quite strong), cumin powder, garam masala, coriander powder. ( Yes, this is generalized spice mix, you can find this mix in every curry - and in special cases, with different proportions).
  • Mix them with a very very small amount of water, so that every thing is mixed well and makes a thick paste.
  • Put it on the deep fried onion in the oil and stir quickly for a short time. Yes, it may cause you sneeze and cough.


Why?
- You can technically add the spice mix later when you start cooking ( boiling) everything. But frying the spices will give a better taste and they mix better with the oil.
- We add the spices in a small amount of water so that they mix well with each other and dont get burnt suddenly if the oil is too hot. (Sometimes I do put spices directly on the oil and sometimes they do get burnt as soon as I put them)

Note:
- You prepare this spice mix before starting step 2. You dont have time to prepare it while keeping the onions on the pan, onions will get burnt.
- It may seem a lot of spices. But buy all of them once, they will last for really long time. Making the spice mix will be fun if you have all of them in front of you :)
- You can also add a bit of vinegar to make the spice mix.

step 4: Fry the main stuffs
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Fry the main stuffs - meat / fish in the pan.

How ?
  • Just fry !!! :o ( Since this is a general formula I cannot tell you for how long)
  • And dont forget to add salt to your taste. Until you master, add bit by bit to avoid putting too much salt. ( If you unfortunately put too much salt, trying adding more potatos)

Why?
Fried food tastes good, dont they? You can just cook ( boil) too. But frying them a bit before putting the water / cream will be better.

step 5: Cook
----------------

Cook them, depending on the dish, you may need to add water +/ cream +/ yogurt

How?
  • Another simple step. Add water +/ cream +/ yogurt and cook them . ( Since this is a general formula I cannot tell you how much water / etc.)

Why?
So that the meat or fish is not raw when you eat ;)

Note:
There are also dishes where you dont have this step. For example deep fried beef vuna / stir fry dishes. In those case you continue step 4 in medium heat until they are well fried. I like those dishes a lot :)

Step 6: Final touch
----------------------

Final touch is usually done by adding fresh coriander leaves on top or some extra cumin or beresta ( beresta is very deep fried onions, a bit burnt sometimes). In many dishes there may not be this step.

Hmm, that's all.

"Cooking is sometimes my meditation"

Mazed, Abdullah Al (Gagan)
www.aamazed.com


( I must thank Shup for helping me with the 'whys' and also Eamon for some tips)

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posted by Gagan at 4/09/2008 08:37:00 PM | Permalink | 3 comments


3 Comments:


  • At 6:23 AM, Blogger eamon

    Gagan, its difficult ot generalize the curry formula for both meat and fish.

    Fish doesn't need to merinate at all.

    Moreover frying the fish directly in the spices wont be very good I guess. You have to do something else with the fish earlier.

     
  • At 8:56 AM, Blogger Gagan

    I actually mentioned, marination is optional, and for normal curry you dont need this step.

    Anyways, basic idea is to give a general 'concept' of our curry system. For example, if you check chinense, their formula might be use cornflour and soya sauce. If you check Finnish, it might be use cream.

    I was not really writing a recipe, rather the formula, pattern and why :) For example, I havenot even mentioned amount of anything, which is of course a vital part of any recipe.

     
  • At 2:27 PM, Blogger eamon

    Its been long that I have been looking for new post but nothing yet :-S

     
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Last weekend we played Labyrinth at my home..
It was quite fun to find the treasures !!
( We had borrowed the board)


Icecream break !
Tanja and Sakari.
Have you ever seen anyone holding icecream in bare hand and biting like that?

Tanja cutting icecream bar !
Sakari eating a bar holding in hands !! Funny !


Obvious effect !! Too cold !! :D


Weekend !
Music, chips, game and sms !

We had fun !!


Dont want to know what was going on !
 
posted by Gagan at 4/02/2008 10:56:00 PM | Permalink | 2 comments


2 Comments:


  • At 7:00 PM, Blogger saija

    haha, when we gonna play that game ggn? :D I looove that game you know

     
  • At 10:13 PM, Blogger Gagan

    Sunday night! Call me couple of hours b4 y come,so that I can call others.

     
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Do you know the Finnish translation for baby ?
It's "wawa"!


I guess it could not be named better ... "wawa" :D

My colleague Juhani has just become father. So I asked what are you going to name your daughter? He replied, 'I won't tell you before the name day' !!

On name day, the baby is officially named with some sort of ceremony, usually in church. Looks like before that you are not allowed to say anyone the baby's name!

I asked, so what do you call her now?
He said, "Just baby .. Wawa"

Gagan

(Note: The actual spelling in Finnish is "vauva" In Finnish, it is pronounced as "Wawa". I wrote "wawa" before to avoid any confusion to read.)
 
posted by Gagan at 4/01/2008 02:01:00 AM | Permalink | 1 comments


1 Comments: