Four Weeknights of Dinner

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Four Weeknights of Diwali Special Dinner with Debjani Banerjee

Debjani Banerjee runs her own catering business and her friends and clients swear by her food. Here we have some of her specialities  for this festive season leading up to Diwali to make your weeknights festive and special. Remember to plan ahead so it can as easy as well as fun for you and your family! (Photo credit: Geeta Sule)


Monday Menu

Bengali Shrimp Malai curry:

Served with Roti and Rice



1 large onion(grated), 1 heaped tablespoon ginger (grate it finely), a pinch of turmeric powder, 1 stick cinnamon(1 inch),2 pods green cardamom, 1 pod black cardamom,2 bay leaves, 1 tin coconut milk(450 ml)-but if you can grate and extract the milk of 1 fresh coconut-the taste and texture will be far better, 1 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp chili powder(more or less or none)3 tbsp sunflower oil


Remove the shell from the body but leave the tail intact (and the head if you are using- whole prawns have to be cleaned carefully).Wash in cold water. Lightly fry the shrimp in a kadhai.

Heat oil in kadhai(or heavy bottomed wok or pan),when nearly smoking, remove from heat(so the spices don’t burn) and add the cinnamon, cardamom pods, cloves and bay leaf. Put back on heat and stir for a few seconds. Then add the grated onion. Keep stirring and frying till pinkish in color- Add ginger paste. Add chili powder, if using. Stir. Add coconut milk and boil for about 6 minutes. Add the Shrimps and cover and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes till done. Finish off by adding half a teaspoon ghee and some fresh ground garam masala powder.


Wednesday Menu

Cauliflower Sabzi

Served with Roti and Dal


Cauliflower - 1 whole medium sized cut into desired sized florets

Onion - 1 cup chopped or sliced as you may prefer (I slice them thin)

Tomato - 1/2 cup chopped (add more if you like)

Haldi (Turmeric Powder) - 1 tsp

Lal Mirch (Red Chili) Powder - 1 tsp

Dhaniya (Coriander) Powder - 1 tsp

Amchur (Dry Mango Powder) - 1/2 tsp

Kasoori Methi (Dry Fenugreek Leaves) - 2 -3 tsps

Garam Masala - 1 tsp

Jeera (Cumin Seeds) - 1 tsp

Salt - as per taste Oil - 1 tsp


Add oil in a pan and let jeera splutter in it. Add onions and fry them till translucent. Add cauliflower, tomato, haldi, namak, lal mirch, dhaniya powder and amchur and mix well. Let it fry for 2 min. Add little water and cover and simmer till cauliflowers are well done. Take the lid off, add garam masala and kasoori methi (crush them between your palms right before adding them in) - don't mix them in yet. Cover the lid and let it cook for 2 more min. Now mix them well and turn the heat off.

Tuesday Menu

Jackfruit Sabzi:

Served with Parathas


1 -2 cans jackfruit (raw) 3 Potatoes-cut into cubes 2 chopped Tomatoes

For Masala:

2 Onion paste 2 tsp Ginger-garlic paste 1 tsp Turmeric powder 1 tsp Garam masala 2 tsp Chilly powder 1 tsp Pepper 2 Bay leaves 1 Cinnamon stick 3 Cloves 2 tbsp Oil Salt to taste



1.Wash Jackfruit in running water for at least 3-5 mins or till all the sour smell goes away. 2.Heat 1 tbsp of oil, fry the Jackfruit and potatoes with salt until turns to light brown color and keep aside. 3.Heat the remaining oil, add the bay leaves, cloves, pepper, cinnamon and allow to splutter. 4.When starts sputtering, add the onion paste, turmeric, salt and chilly powder, fry for couple of minutes. 5.Add the ginger-garlic paste and fry on low flame until oil starts separating. 6.Add the tomato, mix well and sauté until tenders. 7.Add the fried jackfruit, potatoes and mix well. 8.Add one cup of hot water, cover and cook until the jackfruit becomes soft and all the water gets evaporated. 9.Sprinkle the garam masala powder and remove from heat. 10.Serve hot with rice.


Thursday Menu

Dahi Vadas

Served with leftovers from previous days ;)


1 cup black gram lentil (urad dal without skin) washed, soaked for 3 hours and ground to a fine paste adding very little water 2″ piece of ginger grated 2-3 green chilis finely chopped salt to taste oil for deep frying 2 cups thick fresh curd (take care the curd isn’t sour) 4 cups water red chili powder to taste 2 tbsps cumin seeds (slightly dry roasted and ground to a fine powder) 1-2 tbsps chaat masala (optional) chopped coriander leaves to garnish


Combine the ground urad dal paste with grated ginger, chopped green chilies and salt. 2 Pre-heat oil in a deep frying vessel. Place a little urad dal batter in your wet palms and shape them into small lemon size vadas or balls. Deep fry on medium heat for sometime and then fry on high heat till golden brown. 3 Remove these deep fried vadas into a bowl of luke warm water and place them in it for 15-20 seconds. Remove and gently press between your palms so that excess water oozes out. Keep them aside. 4 Finish making vadas with the rest of the remaining batter and put them in water like you did for the earlier batch, remove excess water and keep aside. 5 Beat curds well till frothy (there shouldn’t be any lumps) and add the water, red chili pwd, cumin pwd and salt. 6 Place the vadas in a serving bowl (as shown in the picture) and pour the curd mixture evenly all over the vadas, covering them completely. 7 Chill the vadas for sometime before serving. At the time of serving, take 2-3 vadas and place them in a serving plate and sprinkle some chaat powder and garnish with coriander leaves and tamarind chutney.

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