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if winter comes, can motorer kochuri be far behind

food is so much about memory, isn’t it? i can’t even hear the words “motorer kochuri” without thinking of my mother. my mother was not a great cook, in fact she was never too keen to visit the kitchen. she had, however, the most discerning sense of taste and understanding of the various stages of cooking. she was particular about the spices and condiments she believed a dish called for. the balance of ingredients was important, getting the right inflection…

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Festive Specials

how did the salmon get into the shorshe diye machher jhaal

if you’re bengali, you’ve probably grown up eating shorshe diye machher jhaal, or mustard fish curry. it can be made with many kinds of fish, almost any kind: large bhetki (bekti), rui, katla, chitol; smaller tangra, koi, parshe, gurjaoli; of course, prawns, even pomfret. clearly, we love mustard. but it’s made with special enthusiasm in the rainy season, the monsoon months, when the ilish or hilsa fish comes to the mouth of the river, the estuary or mohona, and its…

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Festive Specials

luchi, anyone?

durga pujo is almost here, soon it’ll be dussehra and diwali, thought i’d share a recipe for these eat joyously times. luchis are lovely things. they traumatise all resolve to not even look at fried stuff, lose weight, eat sensibly and other such notions. luchi is a bengali creation (i am almost sure), a beautiful take on the poori, which is made of atta or whole wheat mainly. here it’s all maida or refined flour. the taste is delicate, the…

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Festive Specials indi

yes, deep fried, of course.

it’s not possible to think of history while thinking of chops. especially mutton chops. and yet, i tried. one may not think that’s an achievement… and this would only be because one hadn’t had a mutton chop, the way bengalis make it. chop, to a bengali, is not a cut of meat. it’s a beatific smile inducing joyful experience that involves getting lost in another world while recalling exactly how mother or grandmother or boro ma or younger kakima, or…

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aarwen Festive Specials

Have you ever served Dhabhe wali Dal at Home?

dhabha wali dal at home recipe

I have always dreaded day 2 or 3 of having house guests. I have already served them paneer or chole (substitute chicken curry if you are a non-vegetarian host), we have gone out to an expensive popular restaurant in town and we have approached what I fondly call the “home cooked food craving” day. These guests say things like, “My stomach is full” or “am feeling heavy” or “let’s have something simple“.  Years of conditioning as a conscientious host doesn’t allow…

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aarwen

Have you ever had dal baati?

dal baati recipe

Blame it on Sooraj Barjatya. Those loud hyper happy families with beautiful decked grand halls, curving stairways, women with stone jewellery, intricate ornate lehengas and all that food! I was a Bihari (or half since my mother is a Bengali), but I longed to be a Marwari. The food was a big part of this yearning. In the movies, the heroine or mother would make gajar ka halwa (carrot dessert). But, there are so many more food options. My Marwari neighbours would call…

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Festive Specials indi

have you ever had kheer komla?

if you’re not bengali, you haven’t probably heard of kheer komla. in english, i guess that would be condensed sweetened milk with orange. sounds prettier in bengali, i must say. orange has been used in many well known and much loved dishes in cuisines from all over the world. duck a l’orange and crepe suzette came promptly to mind and distracted me the moment i wrote that. both are memorable and i haven’t had either in the longest time. but…

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