Sunday, March 5, 2017

Reposting Aamer Ombol (Mango Chutney Bengali Style) - With Video

Summer is here and it is time for some sweet and sour chutney and what could be better than a raw mango sweet and slightly sour chutney. Way back in the year 2012 I had posted the recipe of Aamer Ombol, which is the Bengali style mango chutney. This summer I am reposting it with a video demonstration.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Cheerer Pulao/Poha Pulao/Flattened Rice Pulao

Cheere is the Bengali word for flattened rice also called poha in certain parts of India. As is obvious from the name of this recipe this dish is a pulao made from flattened rice, this is a traditional Bengali dish.

While on the subject of traditional dishes, I recall way back in my childhood my mother cooking these dishes and some of her friends, even while enjoying the dish, would express their inability to make these dishes because of the effort that goes into preparing them. Inability to make a dish due to the effort or time that goes into it appears to be a common refrain amongst those who are reluctant to spend too much time in the kitchen. When I grew up I wondered whether these traditional dishes and recipes will be lost when my mum and others like her are no longer around. I, therefore, decided on this blog but deep down in my heart there was a doubt, will the younger generation really be interested in the traditional recipes? However,  I have noticed - much to my pleasant surprise - that the traditional recipes both in this blog and on my YouTube channel get more hits than the other recipes.

Bee Wilson talking about food nostalgia at the Times Lit Fest (Mumbai) 2016

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Spicy Chicken/Prawns – Chicken and Prawns cooked with/in aromatic spices.

Ever since I started cooking regularly, I have not only begun to enjoy the process of cooking but also I have started experimenting and trying out new recipes. Recently I decided to experiment with aromatic spices. I cooked chicken with these spices and realized that this base gravy would go with almost anything. So when I laid my hands on some good quality prawns, I decided to cook it in this gravy. It was yum!

Vegetarians can cook paneer (cottage cheese) in this gravy. I think potatoes too would taste wonderful if cooked in this gravy.

The video of the dishes has been embedded below and here is the YouTube link . For the detailed recipe see below.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Shukto – A mixed vegetable preparation from West Bengal.

I am a fourth generation migrant Bengali and I have noticed that West Bengalis no matter where they reside love Alu Posto and Shukto. Contrary to the popular belief that Bengalis are hardcore fish eaters, some people even mistakenly  believe that we are pescetarians (also called pesco-vegetarian), Bengalis also eat a variety of vegetables and cook the vegetables in different ways.

As with all dishes I have noticed each region and each family have their own recipe for these vegetarian dishes, each one claiming their recipe to be the authentic one. I would rather not get into that debate. The recipe of Shukto given below is what my mum cooked; she in turn learnt to cook it from senior members of her family.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Tips & Trivia – How to make Garam Masala Powder at home

Garam Masala is an essential part of Indian cooking. There are different types of garam masala powders, I have found some of them quite strong and a bit overwhelming for my taste, therefore I always use homemade garam masala. Like all things in this blog, the recipe of the garam masala has my mother’s touch.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Aaloo Posto (Potatoes cooked with Poppy Seed Paste)

Traditionally Bengalis are a non-vegetarian community. We do eat a variety of vegetables but those of us from West Bengal swear by one particular vegetarian dish and that is aaloo posto, aaloo  is potatoes and posto is the Bengali word for poppy seed. A Bengali is usually lost without fish but if you tell him or her that there is aaloo posto then you are sure to see the relief on his/her face. 

It is a simple dish and very easy to cook. Different households have different recipes, therefore after seeing my recipe if you compare notes with other Bengalis you may find some difference.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Foodie Jaunts - Bong Bong

Way back in my childhood and partially into my adult life, restaurants serving Bengali food just did not exist. I remember people visiting Calcutta too lamented the fact that if you wanted to eat good Bengali food you would have to hope that somebody would invite you to their homes. Calcutta too did not have too many restaurants serving Bengali food. Oh yes there were the road side stalls, but one sort of hesitated to eat there. Thankfully things have changed, Calcutta for many years has a number of Bengali restaurants but what is interesting is that Bombay too is fast catching up. It all started with Only Fish which later transformed into Oh! Calcutta, others like Bhojohori Manna, Bijoli Grill followed. Then there is Hangla, a chain of road side stalls with outlets in several places in Bombay, but in recent times the restaurant that gets my vote is Bong Bong.

Exterior of the restaurant
This is a small, well to be more precise a tiny restaurant. It is air-conditioned but not a plush restaurant. There is limited seating arrangement; it mostly caters to the home delivery segment. It has simple wooden seating arrangement which is surprisingly not uncomfortable.