• Rongabanheka or Teet phool stir fry

    April 30, 2018admin

    I wonder how many reading this post would be able to recognise the flower in the photograph! Very few, is what I will wager my bet on. Neither could my friend Debarati Dutta-Cherukuri when she joined us one afternoon in December for lunch. I had served the stir fry over lunch, which had her guessing for quite a…

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  • The Dying Art of Chosir Payesh

    March 4, 2016admin

    Choshir Payesh (Chosi Kheer) Have you heard of the orzo or the rizoni? These are Italian pasta! Or the ptitim? It is Isreali wheat based pasta invented during the austerity period in Israel, which later became couscous! Or the kritharáki, arpa şehriye and the arpa şehriye? These are Greek, Turkish and Arabic! What is common…

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  • Of Chutneys…

    February 22, 2016admin

    “Shesh paate chete-pute chaatni” is what my mother would say to us. It means “finger licking chutney at the end of the meal”! In Bengali households, chutneys are a must when special meals are served. The chutney is usually not had with the meal but it is a separate course towards the end, after the rice…

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  • Poush parbon’er pithe puli – Sweetmeats of poush festival

    January 15, 2016admin

    Beyond all religious and cultural significance, festivals and food are personal diaries for most of us. We script our memories, likes and dislikes in them and revisit the well-thumbed pages year after year, while adding new pages to them. While growing up in Assam, we had no clue about any religious ritual that might be…

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  • Mulo Shak Pithali

    January 15, 2016admin

    I bought this seasons’ first radishes with their tender greens, with mulo shak pithali in mind. Mulo shak pithali is an heirloom recipe of tender radish greens cooked with ground red lentils (musoor/masoor  dal). It is a very seasonal dish and tastes best when made with the season’s first radish greens. It is a Dhakaiya…

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  • Didubhai’r alu khosha’r chenchki (stir fried potato peels)

    January 15, 2016admin

    One of the many ironies of life is that the best, the most complex is often born out of tough constraints and frugality. This is also true for Bengali vegetarian food, most of which came from the highly restricted and frugal kitchens of the widows. Left with so little to do personally and socially, it…

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  • Niramish Mangsho (Vegetarian Meat)

    January 14, 2016admin

    I choose to start with a disclaimer that this is not a commentary on the appropriateness of animal sacrifice. This debate scares me, because of the tendency of forming arguments based on half baked understanding of genesis of religious beliefs. Animal sacrifice (‘Bali’) is made in a lot of Hindu shrines, specially dedicated to Shakti…

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  • Ghee, Ghee’er chanka and Trivia

    January 14, 2016admin

    Ghee is sacred : Ghee is unhealthy. Ghee is celebrated : Ghee is fattening. There are too many sides to the arguments on ghee. Let me here put in my bit on ghee – it is fragrant. It is delicious (may be not as delicious as butter but this is a personal choice). It makes…

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  • Doi Maachh (Fish in yogurt sauce)

    January 14, 2016admin

    Summers and I seem to have come to an impasse this year – it refuses to let me go and I refuse to let go off my dislike for it! The saving grace is that it is still occasion for indulging in biulier daal (urad daal) – aloo posto, tok daal and doi maachh. Though…

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