Monday, 8 March 2021

Monthalman মন্থালমান Moong Dal Sweet From Nineteenth Century Bengali Cookbook

Monthalman মন্থালমান is a dessert made from Moong Dal (Split Husked Green Gram). This sweet is a different take in terms of technique on our good old Moong Dal Barfi. The recipe is from late 19th Century Bengal (Undivided Bengal) which saw the publication of India's very first Recipe Book PAKRAJESWAR IN 1831 followed by the second edition of the same book being published under the patronage of the then King of Burdwan in 1854.

Sunday, 20 October 2019

Ragda Beetroot Pattice Recipe / Beetroot Pattice With Ragda ~ Diwali Delights

Ragda Beetroot Pattice is a very popular Indian street food. Here Ragda is the thick curry made with dry white/yellow peas and Pattice is an adaptation from the English word Patties which is generally mash potato cake. But in my dish I have replaced the potato patties with Beetroot, Mashed Potatoes and Paneer / Cottage Cheese Patties. Ragda and Pattice are cooked separately and then assembled on a plate. Two Beetroot Patties are placed on a bed of dry white / yellow peas thick curry. Then a spicy garlic Chutney, a sweet Tamarind Chutney and Minty Tangy Green Chutney is drizzled over it. This lip smacking street food is finished off with a garnish of chopped onions, tomatoes, coriander leaves and nylon sev / very fine, deep fried, gram flour noodles. Diwali and these tongue ticklers are synonymous with each other. I love to fill my Diwali with a variety of dishes which have my personalised touch.

Saturday, 19 October 2019

Methi Malai Kofta Recipe / Raw Papaya Cottage Cheese Dumplings In Fenugreek Fresh Cream Gravy ~ Diwali Delights

Methi Malai Kofta / Kofte are Raw Papaya And Cottage Cheese Dumplings Cooked in a luscious Fresh Fenugreek Leaves, Fresh Cream Gravy. Festive meals are always special and they deserve to be unique, indulgent, redolent with decadence and should leave an everlasting mark on your taste buds. This dish is just that and it is sure to take your festive fervour to a flavour crescendo.

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Paramanna / Payesh / Bengali Rice Pudding

Paramanna / Payesh is a Bengali Style Rice Pudding which is definitely cooked to mark any auspicious occasion, festivities, birthdays etc. Apart from the first grain that ever touched my tongue was from a bowl of Payesh on my Mukhe Bhaat first rice eating ceremony my memories of Payesh being cooked is mainly vivid during Kojagori Lokhi Puja.

Friday, 4 October 2019

Shudha Sindhu Recipe / Bengali Dessert Made With Almond Dumplings Simmered In Milk ~ Maha Shostir Subhecha / Durga Puja Maha Bhoj

Shudha Sindhu ~ Badam Bata(Almond Paste), Khoya / Khoa(Milk Solids), Gobindo Bhog Chaler Guro(Speciality Rice Grown in Bengal, India Powder) Dumplings are simmered in Full Cream Milk which has been reduced to half it's original quantity, is thick and creamy, finally finished off with a lavish shower of the finest saffron.

Saturday, 28 September 2019

Bengali Style Cauliflower Roast Recipe / Durga Puja Special Phulkopir Roast Recipe / Bhajohori Manna Pujo Special Phulkopir Roast Recipe

Subho Mahalaya to all celebrating the advent of Goddess Durga. May she bless all with peace, good health and success in every sphere. For Bengalis all over the world, Mahalaya marks the commencement of the Durga Pujo festivities. 

Friday, 27 September 2019

Korma Asafjahi Recipe ~ Dish From The Royal Cuisine Of Sailana India

Korma Asafjahi is a dish whose recipe dates back to the beginning of the twentieth century AD. This dish originated in Hyderabad and the recipe was gifted to Raja Dalip Singhji, the then ruler of the erstwhile state Sailana which is in the current Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, by the Nizam of Hyderabad. Raja Dalip Singhji had a repertoire of more than 5,000 hand written recipes which he had collected from different princely states of early twentieth century India.

Monday, 26 August 2019

Italian Gremolata Recipe / Zesty Italian Herb Sauce Recipe

Italian Gremolata hails traditionally from Italy. This is basically a condiment, which is conventionally made with fresh green herbs, garlic, olive oil, with lots of lemon zest and juice, incorporated to add a punch to this Sauce.

Monday, 24 June 2019

Doi Begun Recipe / Bengali Style Aubergines / Egg Plants In Yogurt Sauce ~ My Bong Konnection

Doi Begun (pronounced Do~ee Bay~goon) is the Bengali way of expressing the love affair between Begun or Aubergines or Egg Plants with Doi or Yogurt. This dish has seen multitudes of festivities in both the Chowdhury (My Paternal Side of the family) and Dutta Gupta (My Maternal Side of the family) families. Having journeyed through generations, the Doi Begun has etched a mark of decadency in my family's refined culinary appetite. Creating Doi Begun therefore for me is a true pleasure, a sort of food nirvana. Not only do my fingers dance through the Bhaja Moshla , the sapphire kissed turmeric powder and the crimson tinted red chilli powder to the music from the foot tapping mustard in the nearby frying pan, but also my mind traverses to those many meals where amidst laughter and chatter the Doi Begun was served to the family.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Palak Paneer Dum Biryani Recipe / Cottage Cheese In Silky Spinach Gravy Layered In Between Basmati Rice Cooked On Dum ~ Go Green With My Recipes

Palak Paneer Biryani / Soft Pillowy Pristine Cubes of Cottage Cheese cooked in a creamy silky Spinach Gravy, then layered between whole spices perfumed basmati rice and another layer of saffron infused rice, cooked sealed in an earthen pot on Dum (in it's own steam). Continuing my series with the hashtag #GoGreenWithMyRecipes 

Friday, 12 April 2019

Samvat Ke Chawal Ki Kheer / Samo Ke Chawal Ki Kheer / Barnyard Millet Sweet Pudding ~ Gluten Free Recipes

The Sun here in My Dubai decided to take an off day today. Everybody needs a break so the Sun also took one, started playing hide and seek with the pristine white fluffs dotting the sleepy sky. The sky is just as sleepy as me, just like me peeping through half closed eyes. Why days like these bring those holiday like thoughts dancing into my brain, I never understand. Why my entire being refuses to budge from the feather soft quilt as a tug of war ensues in my half awake mind. To get out or not to get out of bed. Ultimately inspire of the ensuing tug of war I will get out of bed as is inevitable from the past experiences and as always "to get out of be" will emerge as the winner.

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Murg Palak Ke Korma Kebab Recipe / Kebabs Made With Chicken Korma And Spinach ~ My Fab Kebab Series

The word Kebab has Turkish and Arabic origin. However food historians have put forth the existence of something similar to Kebabs in Ancient India. "the Manasolassa, a Sanskrit composition from the 11 th century, talks about Bhaditrakam, a dish made by cutting lamb or goat into small pieces, stringing the pieces on iron skewers and cooking them on hot coals."( This is an extract from the article India's Kebab Connection by Air Sangvi ) . Having said that when the Arabs and Turks came to India they did bring with them their famous Kebabs, which in time imbibed the Indian spices and took the shape of the Kebabs we savour today. My Fab Kebabs Series is an ode to this wonderful dish.

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Angoori Kofte Recipe / Shahjahani Angoori Kofte Recipe / Angoori Kofta Curry Recipe ~ Bygone Era Indian Cuisine

Starting the Bygone Era Indian Cuisine Series with this post. I am curating 10 recipes from an era of India when every dish cooked was a labour of love, was literally considered an artist's masterpiece and the chef was no less than an artist. Indian cuisine was richly influenced by the invaders from the Mughals to the Portuguese to the British who came to this country, bringing in their entourage of cooks with them, who then interwove themselves with the already existing rich culinary heritage of India and created dishes which were not only a visual delight but took the taste buds on a ride to flavour Utopia. In this post I share with you a dish which was cooked in the Royal kitchens of Emperor Shah Jahan, the fifth Mughal Rular, whose reign spanned from 1628 ~ 1658. Dear Readers presenting the Shahjahani Angoori Kofte or simply Angoori Kofte to you.

Sunday, 24 March 2019

Kutchi Shami Kebab / Gujrati Kutchi Memoni Style Shami Kabab

It's been a dream to walk through the pristine white sands of the Rann of Kutch, a salt marsh in the Thar Dessert spanning across the Western Indian State of Gujrat. In the moonlight soaked pearly sands I wish to stand with both my feet buried in the sand, gazing at the starred canopy above, listening to the buzzing, humming sound of the nocturnal dessert creatures, letting the cool dessert breeze play hop scotch with my tresses. Then as from a nearby tent the aroma of delicious food will slowly start enveloping the night air, my growling tummy will keep nudging my entire being to uproot my feet from the sand and walk towards the scent of decadent food. Ah, I keep dreaming of this all the time. Someday I will tick off this dream of mine, fulfil my desire to savour the delectable cuisine native to this area. Till then let my kitchen be my wish fulfilling magic wand, where at least I can dish out at least a few of those Kutchi delicacies till the time I can actually make my culinary trip to the Rann of Kutch.  

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Beetroot Dill Seekh Kebab / Kabab Recipe ~ Happy Beats

Feeling stressed beautiful people, the pressures to keep up with the rules of this ever changing world, can take it's toll on us, right? You may not be someone who loves their trip to the kitchen, but trust me and try this the next time you are feeling frustrated or hopelessness has creeped in. Walk into your kitchen, take out the chopping board, manual grater or just use the knife and go chop chopping vegetables of different hues. Try with beetroot, carrot, yellow, orange bell peppers, purple cabbage, dill or mint or coriander leaves. The first phase itself will take that knotty feeling out of your system. Next wash your hands thoroughly and try mixing all the chopped ingredients with both your hands. As the colours will paint your fingers, a strange kind of calm will engulf you. Try to look at all those gorgeous colours dancing around your fingers as you mix them together, try to be in that moment, do   not drift away, this colour therapy is magical and will loosen your mind letting go of those thoughts which were responsible for stressing you out.

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Mumbai Style Keema Pav / Chicken Mince Curry With Indian Bread Mumbai Style

Today is Valentine's Day. A day that was marked to celebrate love. In today's world finding true love is becoming more and more harder. But amidst all these disillusions Almighty still sends people who reiterates your belief in this most powerful four lettered word in this entire universe LOVE. I still do meet people who totally surprise me with their untainted heart filled with selfless love. They keep my faith in this magical thing called Love alive. Amidst all the hatred that is slowly engulfing our beautiful planet it is heartening to know that we still value love. Why else would we otherwise have a day which celebrates something so pure so beautiful as love. Beginning from the Saint who started this trail of love even in the face of death who didn't stop spreading love how befittingly his name has today become synonymous with a day when the entire world comes together to restore their belief in this beautiful thing called love.

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Armani Amal Restaurant Dubai ~ An Experiance Extraordinaire

When an experience becomes a treasure it is only fair to applaud such brilliance. Every time we desire to make our special day extraordinary and leave no leaf unturned towards that. So this year was no different. But what lay ahead was totally unfathomed. Another fine dining restaurant we thought. The excitement was more for dining in the tallest building in the world " Burj Khalifa ".

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Dal Bukhara Recipe ~ The Iconic Black Gram Lentil Curry Of Bukhara Restaurant At ITC Maurya New Delhi

Whenever I enter my kitchen to make an iconic dish, I am extremely nervous, jittery & anxious through the preparation, execution & finally when the dish is ready. I might have cooked that dish many a time, but that feeling of immense responsibility weighing down on my shoulders for I just cannot be careless about a dish whose fame has transcended beyond boundaries, spreading to every nook & corner of the globe. A dish which people consider a must do on their list of to do things when they visit the capital of India, New Delhi. The dish I am talking about is Dal Bukhara a Black Gram Lentil Curry Dish whose popularity cannot be fathomed.

Monday, 3 December 2018

Kolkata Ghugni Recipe / Kolkata Style Yellow Peas Curry Recipe ~ Just Recipes

At any and every street corner of Kolkata you will find these bright yellow peas curry in a huge deep plate, from which the Ghugni seller will scoop out a ladle full of Ghugni into a paper or leaf, shaped like a bowl and then garnish it with a whole lot of condiments and very skinny noodle shaped lentil fritters known as sev. Honestly what he serves is truly truly lip smacking delicious. But you can make Ghugni at home too for your parties. During Holi, just picking up a bowl of Gugni and digging into it gives a whole lot of satisfaction because Ghugni tastes just so delightful that you just cannot stop at one.

Monday, 26 November 2018

Egg Rendang / Famous Indonesian Savoury Egg Dish With Very Thick Gravy

As a food Blogger I am always on the look out for nouvelle recipes, everyday begins with a quest to first learn about new ingredients, then incorporating those ingredients in a dish, making the dish a number of times, till I have almost total control over those ingredients. It is only after that, I will cook that dish, capture it's steps, photograph the main dish and then publish it here in my Blog, so that all the lovely wonderful readers of my Blog can prepare the dish without having to go through any difficulty. No dish which is being cooked for the first time in my kitchen, will be published in my Blog, after the first attempt, even if the very first attempt has yielded the perfect result. It will only find it's way into my Blog after it has been made with that same flawless result at least a number of times. 

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Nasi Biryani / Chicken Nasi Biryani / Nasi Beriani / Malaysian / Singapore Style Chicken Biryani ~ My Biryani Trail

I took a pledge to share my love for Biryani by documenting my journey tasting this superlative dish across the length and breadth of the Globe. The more I travelled in search of different versions of this dish the more intrigued and awed I was with Biryani. Introducing you dear friends to a Biryani called Nasi Biryani. The word Nasi in Malaysian and Indonesian cookery stands for Cooked Rice. This version of the Biryani is unlike any of the Biryanis that your palate is familiar with. This Biryani does not incorporate the “Dum” cooking technique that is so synonymous with the cooking of any Biryani dish. Moreover it incorporates Local ingredients like Pandan Leaves, Lemon Grass to suit the local taste.

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Banarasi Vegetable Biryani ~ My Biryani Trail

I sat holding the hands of my Bua (paternal aunt) tightly, on the steps of the ghats of Banaras, looking into her eyes filled with love for me. I didn't want to let go of her hands let alone her entire being. I continued to take in every bit of her, from her smile, to her words to her scent, to her touch, in desperation, trying to cling on to them for eternity. I was only 12 but I could feel the pain in my young heart, pain of accepting that this might me the very last time I would ever see her. Bua was suffering from terminal cancer & we all had made that one last long train journey to Derhadun to meet her, spend time with her and say our final goodbyes.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Shorshe Phulkopi / Cauliflower In Mustard Gravy / Sarson Wali Phool Gobi ~ Bengali Style Curry

Shorshe Phulkopi / Cauliflower In Mustard Gravy / Sarson Wali Phool Gobi was on my mind for the longest time, yet somehow I was not making this dish in my kitchen. However a visit to the Oh! Calcutta Restaurant, set the ball rolling. Savouring through the serpentine row of dishes in their Durga Pujo Buffet, I had the most delicious Cauliflower in Mustard Sauce Curry. It did not only set my taste buds on a journey of nostalgia but had everyone from my family heaping praises on the Shorshe Phulkopi on that day.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Beary Biryani / Mangalore Beary Style Chicken Biryani / Karnataka Beary Biryani ~ My Biryani Trail

So continues my Biryani Trail, as promised, every week, I shall be here with a Biryani, Pulao or Rice Dish which has swept my taste buds off their feet. Here I am today to fulfil that promise to my readers with an unique Biryani Recipe from the South Indian State of Karnataka. Dear readers let me introduce you all to BEARY BIRYANI a speciality of the BEARY Community who inhabit Dakshina Kannada, a coastal district in Karnataka. The word BEARY means trade or business in the native language of this community.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Gil E Firdaus / Hyderabadi Sweet Dish ~ Happy Diwali

On the auspicious day of DIWALI it is my heart's desire that good health, wealth, wisdom, prosperity tiptoes into the abode of my friends, family, co~bloggers, every single person who has visited my Blog till date, all those who are reading this post right now and everyone who has touched my life in some way or the other.


Saturday, 3 November 2018


This dessert is my ode to my MUM-In_law. In fact I owe everything I make during the festival of Ugadi to her. She makes porridge with beaten rice which is delicious to the hilt. I wanted to give it my touch with a beaten Rice Rasmalai. All I can say, if you try making this dessert, it cooks up in a jiffy and the end dish is completely a party for your taste buds.

Friday, 2 November 2018

Biryani At Bombay Brasserie ~ Fine Dining Indian Restaurant at Taj Dubai

My love for Biryani is unabashedly unabated, transcends any limitations and is the only thing in the world which cannot be bartered. I guess I had Biryani love in my genes, my father being a Biryani enthusiast, proponent and an excellent cook. After my marriage my love for Biryani was elevated several levels up as Mr. S is not only a Biryani aficionado but an extreme lover of Biryani. He has managed to find a restaurant serving Biryani, no matter what, in every single country, city, that he has visited till date. In fact whenever I have travelled with him I too have been an integral part of savouring Biryani in every single place in our Globe trotting escapade. I have therefore decided to document my indomitable love for Biryani from now on, by recording every single Biryani gorging episode whether it took place at home, in a restaurant, at a friend's place or for that matter anywhere on this planet. I am doing this for the sheer love for this Royal Dish and also to have a place to come back to whenever I want to look back upon and relive those scrumptious moments when I was enveloped with euphoria while savouring a spoonfull of Biryani. Also this will be an excellent resource to refer to for all Biryani lovers who share the same fervour for Biryani.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Diwali Sweets Collection 2018 / Diwali Sweets Recipes 2018 ~ Celebrate Diwali With Us

Celebrate the Festival of Lights Diwali / Deepavali with this fantastic collection of sweets / desserts from right below. You will find the name of the dish written above the picture of each dish. All you have to do is, click on the name of the dish & you will be directed to the page where you have the detailed recipe of the dish. I decided to compile all the dishes in a single post so that you can refer to this post alone & not spend time searching the individual posts from my blog while planning your Diwali Sweets menu. Also I have left a very brief introduction of each dish below the picture of the dish so that you can choose the dish based upon your Diwali party theme or your ideas woven around your Diwali festivities.You will find here a combination of traditional sweets & some very unique dessert recipes. This post is a brilliant resource to propel your Diwali celebrations to the ultimate heights of deliciousness, happiness & festive fervour.

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Kashmiri Phirni Recipe ~ Diwali Sweet / Happy Diwali

In her finery she bent down while placing the oil filled earthen curved palm shaped lamps with a cotton wick running right through their center. As she moved from one place to another with a tray filled with Diyas or earthen lamps, her anklets made the sweetest tinkling sound. I simply could not take my eyes off her as she struck a match stick & started to light the Diyas. In the flame of the lit Diyas her face was covered with a golden hue, her gold ornaments dazzled & she looked just like a divine creature who had transcended on earth to grace the special day. It was Diwali eve & the lady in question was Netra Pandita Aunty, who lived in the garden encircled bungalow down the road. I was a starry eyed teenager those days who was completely blown away by her grace, poise & beauty. As I followed her with my eyes she glided across the room like a princess who wore shoes made of flowers. She returned a few minutes later with garlands of orange & yellow marigold flowers & started tying them up in different places of the room. By the time she finished her decorations that room looked sun kissed with the abundance of Diyas & marigolds.

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Navratri Special Meethi & Teekhi Chutney / Hot & Sweet Chutney / Coriander Green Chilli Peanut Spicy Chutney / Date Tamarind Sweet Chutney

Sharad Navratri has commenced this year. Different parts of India celebrate the festival in different ways. In the Northern part of India many devotees of the Goddess keep a day long fast. After prayers, veneration and offerings to the deity at sunset the fast is broken. Only certain types and categories of food are allowed to be eaten during this fast. Also determining  the exact ingredients which will make the dishes differs from family to family. For example some families do not eat Chutneys for these 9 days. However those who do ensure firstly that the Chutney is vegetarian, gluten free and comprises only the ingredients allowed during this fast.

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

10 Must Eat Food In New York City As A Tourist ~ Part I

This is the first part of my list of 10 Must eat food in New York City. I have always seen this, food is the only thing that gives you an instant insight into the cultural background of a place. You know someone even without getting into a conversation. I find it as interesting to learn how a certain dish made its way into the very fabric of a community as much as I love to visit places which have stood tall bearing testimony to years of work which shaped a country. The vibrant mix of cultures in New York City results in numerous dishes which is not possible for any tourist to sample in a small amount of time. I was here for four days, yet I missed many of the must eat New York City Special Food. So this is actually a list which is mandatory in the long list of Must have. I arrived at this list after long hours of research through the internet, reading local newspapers and magazines and chatting with fellow culinary bloggers based here. You are most welcome to add your list in the comments below. Also my choice was based on my dietary preferences so please feel free to add on to this list.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Pickled Onion Chicken With Roasted Peppers Recipe / Sirka Pyaz Murgh Bhuna Hua Hari Mirch Ke Sath

Going to my parents home every single time feels like walking into that attic where all my childhood toys, story books, pictures, that doll from whom I was inseparable through my toddler years have been carefully stashed away. The joy of, (for once) someone looking at me with so much love as I lie enveloped in slumber with a smile caressing my lips, then gently stroking my forehead and tresses, lightly nudging me to wake up, is truly indescribable. Many years have trotted by and changing of roles have taken place as I now habitually look at a fairy face, fast asleep and then run my fingers through her silky mane, gently coaxing her awake. Yet I so look forward to this role reversal every year and totally bask in its warmth and tenderness.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Pyaaz Ka Salan Recipe / Restaurant Style Biryani Side Dish / Gravy / Onion Salan

Pyaaz Ka Salan or Fried Onions in a Thick Rich Gravy is an ode to the Culinary Gem Mirchi Ka Salan. The recipe of Pyaaz Ka Salan is a little different to that of the Mirchi Ka Salan which has a thick brown gravy, resplendent with Bhavnagri Mirch (Chillies from Bhavnagar, Gujrat), which are long, fat green chillies with the right balance of heat and finely hand pounded chironji and almonds. The Mirchi Ka Salan dates back to the times when Emperor Akbar ruled the Indian Sub~Continent. The popular theory is that this dish did not originate in the royal kitchen but most probably in the kitchen of a Wealthy Jagirdar when he threw a Regal feast for the Emperor.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Himachali Chana Aloo Madra Recipe / Traditional Garbanzo Beans In Yogurt Curry From Himachal Pradesh

Himachali Chana Aloo Madra the decadent, rich dish from one of the most beautiful States in India is a complete treat for the senses. Himachal Pradesh which means abode or land of snow in Sanskrit is true to its name. Nature has showered it's bounty on this state. Situated in the northern most part of India and home to some of the most famous hill stations, just like the splendour around, the people who live here are synonymous with charm, grace and kindness loaded hearts. The cuisine of this region is spicy and makes use of a lot of yogurt, cardamom powder and is generally slow cooked to bring forth the huge array of flavours.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Chicken Xacuti Recipe / Goan Style Chicken Curry With Coconut And Exotic Spices

It was the year 2010, when laden with a couple of suitcases I had taken a very bumpy flight to a really tiny airport in Goa. Mr. S was there for almost a month, living out of hotel food which had got his system a little haywire. So here I was to get his gut back on track with some homemade food. In the week that we were house hunting in Miramar, Panjim I did get a fair chance of treating myself to full fledged Goan fare. Most of the times I would be by myself and undertake small culinary adventures. Be it a visit to the Spice Gardens or a taste escapade at the Saturday Night Market at Arpora, a rendevous with the Poder (the Goan breadmaker, an adaptation from the Protuguese padeiro) or sampling a mouthful of Bebinca topped with Vanilla ice~cream at Infantaria cafe in Calangute or simply perching myself up next to a window seat at the waterfront restaurant in the Goa Marriott Resort, right on the Miramar beach, experiencing Goan cuisine at it's best, I surely did have a true blue Goan Style blast.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Black Sesame Seeds Ice~Cream (Rose Scented) ~ Happy Halloween

The door bell buzzes and buzzes again and again. That's not usual who could it be. I literally rush down the stairs and just manage to prevent a trip over while missing a stair. As is common in these occasions, the heart pounds and thumps as if there is no tomorrow. Oh dear, I almost feel my heart in my throat. I open the door to a dozen giggly kids who in unison shout out "Happy Halloween", trying their best to make spooky faces at me. I did forget it is Halloween and unlike the times when I was growing up, kids these days, no matter in which part of the world they are celebrate Halloween. I look adorably at their sweet faces, some smeared with charcoal paste, some having scary eyes as an after effect of smudged kohl and some have made good use of their Mum's lipstick to give the impression of blood. Those fangs which the dear little boy dressed as a vampire is wearing is overtly cute. It's such a happy feeling to see these little darlings, trying to look scary. I send them off after filling their jack o lantern printed buckets or small hollow crafted pumpkins with chocolates and toffees.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Thai Beetroot Coconut Soup Recipe ~ Pink For October Series

We, women, have been constituted in such a manner that we tend to lose ourselves in taking care of others. As daughters, sisters, wives, mothers, aunts, grandmothers we have an inherent quality of putting others before self, especially when it comes to family. Well, though it is hard to generalize and there will be exceptions to this, I am till date, yet to come across a dame who will say me first. When I sit back and think, I am made to believe that when Almighty was creating a girl, more love, care and sensitivity went into that creation. That's why we are what we are, special, epitome of love and kindness with a heart so giving, patient and nurturing. Not that I have not seen men who have these qualities ( was daughter to one and now married to one ), but again they are not at large, somewhat a rare gem to find and treasure, but not impossible to find. In this case you have to look high and low but when it comes to a lady, you will surely bump into one with soft, gentle, loving demeanor and who will put family before self, quite frequently.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Quick Mushroom Corn Green Curry Recipe / Oilfree Vegan Green Curry ~ Go Green

Ever since the festive season commenced, indulgence was served generally on all platters. Not that festivities have ended yet, but with so much of goodies having gone in, the tummy did scream for some rejuvenation. Every year whenever a little detox does the the internal system of our body good, we turn a "Go Green" page in my family. After the elaborate festive fares, quick fixes, takes over the kitchen menu. But please do not think that I will be posting anything mundane or boring here. Even these quick dishes have an element of fun and adventure in them.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Diwali Mini Vegetarian Thali ~ Wish You All A Dazzling And Prosperous Diwali

Dear Readers How are you all celebrating Diwali this year? For me Diwali starts and ends with food. I will be preparing a vegetarian Lunch Thali. Also there will be sweets galore and a very special sweet called Zauq E Shahi which means Royal taste and is mini Gulab Jamuns served in Rabri. In the evening when a thousand Diyas (Earthen lamp with a wick dipped in oil) will illuminate my home I will join my hands in prayer and just like every Diwali, this Diwali too, I will pray for Light over Darkness, Hope over Despair, Good over Evil and Love over Hatred. Along with all this I shall repeat something in my mind which I had promised myself to do many years ago. I will once again uphold my promise of embracing every aspect of the Globe while being rooted to my Rich Indian Culture and tradition. That's what my food too shall always reflect. Global with an Indian Soul.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Zauq E Shahi Recipe / Mini Gulab Jamun In Rabri / Fried Khoya ( Milk Solid ) Balls In Very Thick Milk

Zauk E Shahi translates to Royal Taste. This dessert from the Awadhi Cuisine treasure trove combines the very popular Gulab Jamun with the quintessential Rabri. While trying to trace the history of the Gulab Jamun, I came across this very interesting story of it's nemesis. I am not sure whether this is a folklore or there is some truth in it. Nonetheless since I was fascinated with the story, I had to share it with you my wonderful readers. 

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Chettinad Cauliflower Chukka Recipe / Spicy Dry Cauliflower Curry From Chettinad

I am an ardent lover of Chettinad Cuisine. For those of you who are not familiar, Chettinad Cuisine is the food that the Nattukotai Chettiar community from the Chettinad Region in the south Indian State of Tamil Nadu, cook in their home. This beautiful hamlet is not only known for its rich cultural heritage, ornate magnificent homes with large kitchens, but most importantly the Spice trade which thrived between the Chettiar community with countries like Burma, Java, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Mauritius in ancient times. No wonder their food is resplendent with taste and aroma infused by the use of these perfumed spices.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Beetroot Paneer Curry Recipe / Lightly Grilled Cottage Cheese In Creamy Beetroot Curry

Whenever I am working with Beetroot I keep staring at that gorgeous colour that splashes out and kisses my fingers with love. Indeed as Red symbolizes the colour of love, I feel that there is a heart connection we have with the beetroot. For me it is the vegetable of love. Speaking about the heart connection, Beetroot loves your heart and your heart , the most important organ in your body remains healthy if you allow the love of Beetroot to spread over it. How? Without going into the technicalities, I would like to put down here, that Beetroot has high concentration of dietary Nitrate which our body processes into Nitric Oxide. Nitric Oxide in turn is known to help our blood vessels relax. As our blood vessels relax, there is a reduction in our blood pressure. Reduced Blood Pressure means Reduced Chances of Heart Diseases and Stroke. 

Friday, 6 October 2017

Khirer Chapa Mishti / Traditional Bengali Style Milk Fudge

I am a huge fan of tradition, rituals which define our festivals, celebrations and food which has been passed down from one generation to another. Although I am at the same time big into neo cuisine, fusion dishes, global cuisine, molecular gastronomy etc. a part of me is always on the lookout for recipes which have been lost in the tides of time, recipes which are slowly disappearing from our kitchen because of our busy lifestyle. This is solely my opinion, that, as we embrace the neo we should not let go of our years and years of culture and tradition. They are what defines us. As we cannot imagine a tree without roots, I feel we too would be rootless without our cultural heritage, which for me is unthinkable.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Dhaka Style Kacchi Chicken Biryani Recipe / A Distinct Type Of Chicken Biryani From Dhaka, Bangladesh

Life those days was overflowing with selfless, unadulterated, Shat pratishat shudh desi ghee (100% pure Desi Clarified Butter) type of Love. Two sets of grandparents, two dozen uncles and aunts from both sides and off course the most wonderful parents were showering their love on me and my sister and cousins my age or couple of years elder or younger. Life was all about going to school, studying, playing outdoors and on holidays reading my story books, reciting poems from my favourite Bengali and English poets, going for a ride on Baba's Lambretta Scooter. These Italian scooters were in Vogue those days. Scooters in general was romanticized and made a dream ride when the debonair Hollywood Legend Gregory Peck rode one in the movie "Roman Holiday". Baba being an ardent Gregory Peck fan, having watched all his movies would ditch his Ambassador car for his Lambretta scooter many a times. 

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Sweet Pineapple Chutney Recipe

For Bengalis Chutney is always emotionally yours. Chutney not served or missed during the course of a grand meal, can result in a small heartbreak of the diner. Chutney is an integral part of a Bengali meal and without Chutney being served a Bengali feast remains incomplete. Whenever a meal for guests in a Bengali house is being planned Chutney, Papad, Mishti and Doi(Sweet Yogurt) are a must. Initially it was the tomato chutney which was omnipresent in all the platters and then came Mango, Dates, Mango Leather (Aam Shotto), Kamranga ( Star fruit), Chalta ( Elephant Apple), Pineapple etc. etc. until a brigade of Chutneys was formed and this kept on growing with each passing year. Ah!!! the taste of each of these relishes are still fresh on my taste buds even to this day.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Chironji Ki Dal Recipe / Gluten Free Curry Made With Chironji ~ Navratri Vrat Recipes

Rituals, age old traditions which we bring out from our rich cultural heritage treasure chest, are responsible for all the smiles, happiness and warmth around, when the festivities are in full swing. I have been a keen and inquisitive observer of these ceremonial practices from the time I was a little girl. Some of these customs fascinated me, some of them intrigued me and most of them made me ask the family elders innumerable questions. Yesterday was celebrated as Shashti, the day which heralds the beginning of Durga Puja and Bengalis follow some rituals on that day. These rituals are outlined in our scriptures and are abided accordingly. Kalp~Arambha is the ritual performed before the beginning of Durga Puja. Kalp~Arambha is the ritual of taking a pledge (sankalp) to follow each and very custom and ritual as is mentioned in the books without any deviation whatsoever. 

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Baked Malai Sandesh Recipe / Baked Sweet Cottage Cheese In Thickened Milk ~ Shubho Mahalaya

I wake up with a jolt and a pounding heart and strain my eyes to look through the dark room. Collecting my self and my thoughts I wonder what woke me up so early. I pick up my mobile and see the time. It's 3 a.m. in Dubai. My eyes fall on the missed call and I scroll down to see that Ma had called. In a flash everything comes back and my eyes light up with a broad smile. I take a deep breath and try to imagine the intoxicating aroma of the pristine white Shiuli Phool (Night Flowering Jasmine). Then I tip toe out of the room, walk downstairs and open the door. As I step out neither can I feel the nip in the air, nor can I see the dancing kash phool (Kans grass native to India) in the far horizon. It's still far from being cold and in the light of my house I can see only Palm trees. Sigh!! I am in Dubai and not in Kolkata, where my heart is. Today is Mahalaya, a very special day for Bengalis. I sit in my garden and call Ma. All she says is "Shon" (listen) and then the most familiar voice of Birendra Krishna Bhadra buzzes into my ears, as my eyes swell up with tears.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Murgh Methi Malai Recipe / Chicken Cooked In Fenugreek Leaves And Fresh Cream

I look at the cardboard boxes sprawled across my once spic and span home, some half full, some taped and closed with marker scribbled words of what it contains inside written on top. The Greek Philosopher Heraclitus's doctrine says "Change is the only constant" and so true it is. Change has remained the only constant factor in my life so far. It all started from the first change of sharing my parents room, to my own room, then sharing my room with my sister, changing out into my Engineering college hostel room, to my first salary rented flat, then to my in-laws home after marriage, many other cities and homes later to this one in Dubai and again I am changing to a new abode which I will turn into a home in time.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Raspberry Bhapa Doi Recipe / Raspberry Steamed Yogurt (Bengali Style)

Stories are a powerful tool to weave dreams, reality, imagination, sometimes unreal, fictitious things through a web of beautiful words and then enclose them inside illustrated pages of intrigue with the potentially of picking you up gently and placing you down on those wings which then fly you into a world created by the storyteller. I may have been a year and a half old, barely capable of lifting my little self and perching myself up on the bed surrounded by fluffy pillows on all sides to break my fall in case I happened to get a wee bit adventurous. Baba would place in front of me colorful story books whose three dimensional pages would stand up before my twinkling eyes, wide with anticipation. I am told that I would sit for hours looking at them, amidst adorable sounds of cooing, gurgling, babbling, just too happy to be amongst those imaginary characters popping out of my story books.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Pista Gulkand Laddu Recipe / Dairy Free, No Cook, Pistachio & Rose Petals Sweet Preserve Bites / Vegan Pistachio & Rose Petals Preserve Sweets Recipe

I have been in a race with the Sun for many years now. That I rarely win the race is another thing. The Sun manages to beat me on most days, cause by the time I am waking up and stretching my lazy bones, he is outside my window winking at me and teasing me that while he has been up and shining, I am still struggling to wiggle myself out of those feather soft sheets. That feeling of just a few minutes more and then I will be "as fresh as a daisy", has neither ceased nor diminished from my school going days till now. Back then I used to think that feeling like this was exclusively for children, as I would always find an ear to ear smiling Mother with no traces of any "I want to sleep a little more" on her face, nudging me up awake every morning. I would think then that in mothers maybe that state of mind is non-existent, but nothing like that happened with me after I donned the role of a mother. I still struggle, every single day to tear my head away from those clouds of softness, waiting keenly for the weekends, when I thankfully don't have to race with the Sun.