Wednesday, 24 April 2019


This morning the couple at this home woke up tired... ahem... no story material does it provide. An ever unromantic couple who have turned old lives in this home. We actually went for a late night movie.... If on weekdays ticket prices are way less, we definitely will choose it over a weekend.... the norm has become such that Hollywood movies are seen sitting at home, Bollywood movies at the theatre hall and that wait to watch Tollywood in Netflix.  The rest in the group are not sit at home idles like me... so they plan around 5pm and then notify me. I was not so keen on going for "Kalank" yesterday but went for the company I enjoy.... Soumya's wit.... the Nacho and Cheese share with Ipsita.... Not that I love cheese or Ipsita has gone mad having that combo around 10pm but it is that movie hall effect... a place that attracted me always. After so many years, I met her... my heartthrob Madhuri.... Me and Chandrayee watched Tezaab on the first day of its release at Purnashree... throughout the show I kept on telling Chandrayee... "this girl resembles someone we know".... then realised that her million dollar smile resembles that of Suchitra Sen... she was then a mix of Suchitra & Madhubala look wise. So many times I had an open fight with Tanushree on Madhuri & Sridevi..... The diehard fan of her always felt that her talent was underused, she needed more of Prakash Jhas in her life! If I am 48, she must be somewhere between 52-55.... she still dances like a queen. You know what "apna woh Sanju Baba ko na Arshad Warsi ke sivai kisike saath accha nehi lagta".... I got so upset when "Munna Bhai Chale Umrika" was shelved. How was "Kalank?"..... Nothing special.... I actually decided  not to watch it, could not avoid good friend Soumya's call... I am in that stage of life when I want an escapade from such stories which puts me in a dilemma... but mind it neither you, nor me are to decide what is wrong and what is right! I do not like situations when I cannot look straight into my husband's eyes, I feel better when we are into a fight.... we were to go out around 8:40pm yesterday and he came back from the office at 8:25pm. What is more irritating is that he constantly tries to prove me wrong in front of our friends. If I am saying that he had this habit of reaching school late, there is truth in it.... but I respect those who set out to work every morning. After a 31/2hours of sleep, he is all set for office like many of you. Even, I am tired of sleep deprivation, hence packed their lunch boxes with some easy dal & cumin tempered paneer rice.... the man eats paneer... does not enjoy! He does not enjoy Black Chana / Black Chickpea / Chola either and even uses derogatory words for it. I buy it for myself but unable to have it in salads every other day, excess intake causes me indigestion.... storing longer spoils them. I had to prepare this vegetarian curry CHOLA BEGUN ER TARKARI for the family. To stop them from badmouthing, I had to pair it with gram flour parathas / flatbreads. Actually, the son never speaks ill of any food item, he will not eat what he does not like.... one cannot just make him do what he does not wish to! Mumma deboned the very bony "koi maach" for him and he ate.... Anyway, it seems he will have baked tilapia rest of his life.... very few are like "je radhe shey chul o badhe".... so let me fulfil my wishes concerning him.

His mumma indeed eats fish like a cat. She is now feeling guilty of shouting at her tired man who is all set to go out for  work. Whoever is sweating out for the family, deserves heaven.... Out of that guilt, I deleted my Linkedin Account recently... I have nothing to do there, I just want some promotion for my blog for which that forum is not right. At the moment, I am exploring some new avenues besides cooking, just for self satisfaction. Later in the day, the shameless me will be going for my second hair therapy session .... I must avoid a Biryani treat today and go for something light!

I remember, I had the best Chana Curry cooked by a former colleague Abhilasha Mani ma'am.... I do not know to which state of India this mother of two girls belong but I loved the spicy "chana curry" she got to school one day sometime in 2014. I do not usually forget things that appeal to me... "Kalank" is not a big deal to me, neither will I start analysing the movie, give judgements, get more involved.... I will instead move around alone, do my bit in the kitchen and let life go on. I have given a Bengali name to this vegetarian dish because I did it with Bengali spices... We do eat it as a snack, as an addition to some vegetarian preparations..... not really in a curry. Abhilasha ma'am made me rethink and feel that it can be had in a curry. My men are not so good as me and perhaps there was a meat curry alongside this on that day. Back at our Barrackpore home, I hear that the brother and his wife loves Rajma & Kabli Chola.... so prefers my men too... the husband would prefer an Aloo Kabli to this curry but he had because he or they both love their share of "ruti / porota".... This CHOLA BEGUN ER TORKARI might be an instant decision, an urge to use up the stored chola / black chana and some about to rot egg plants.... You know na I hate wastage.... I think I did full justice to the curry spicing it up with regular masalas and flavouring it with garam masala & lemon leaves! You must try it to prove me right. I am unhappy with the photo feature, I could not hide the shadow, I even thought of deleting it... but the food was good... so did not!




Wash and soak the black chickpea in hot water for 2-3 hours. Pressure cook at lowest  heat up to 2 whistles adding some salt and 2 coffee mugs of water. Let cool before you open the lid.

Cut and wash the egg plants just 5 minutes before you add it to the wok. Rub little salt to the pieces.

Heat oil in a wok. Temper with cumin seeds and add the chopped and washed sliced onions. Once they turn golden brown, add the washed and chopped tomatoes. Add little salt and the turmeric. Stir and let the tomato melt. 

Add  the spices like cumin-coriander-black pepper- red chilli powders and stir well. Add the boiled black chick peas now along with the water.

Give a stir and simmer covered at the lowest heat for 10-12 minutes. Open cover to add 2 coffee mugs of water. Cover again and simmer at lowest heat for 5-6 minutes.

Add the marinated pieces of egg plants and the lemon leaves, the garam masala now and stir. Again simmer at lowest heat covered for 7-8 minutes.

Open cover, add the tamarind juice and adjust salt if required. Simmer at low heat for another 3-4 minutes. We should be done.

Transfer to a bowl and garnish with the washed & chopped fresh coriander & green chillies!

Monday, 22 April 2019


Suji / Semolina is my most loved grain after rice.... Rice will always remain my first love.... something that never causes any kind of uneasiness to the stomach.... if only it did not have a major contribution to the increasing width of our body. Anyway, since baking is not my forte, because I still love experimenting with different ingredients, I discovered that cakes with semolina give me little less of tension and the family like them too. However, one should not go by the standard of my family's fondness of my home baked cakes. Take it from me, they have eaten all my "horribly gone wrong" cakes without a noise. That should have been enough reason to be a standard baker by now. Do not I love them? Not that,  I do not know why I feel very lethargic, unwilling to follow rules and ethics of measurements that one must when it comes to baking. I think once I blog on a "Dhakai Porota".... I should be able to concentrate on "learning to bake".... until then there will be "just" decent cakes like this SUJI COCOA CAKE at this home. A Bengali blogger with pots full of ego inside like me should master the art of perfect "Dhakai Porota" first. I did it once last year, it was nice but not that crisp.... so did not click.   Not all sweet shops in Kolkata do it, I used to have it in a shop in Nagerbazaar, DumDum whenever I visited our friend Tanushree's home back in the early 90's.... The sweet shop is still there, I still pass by it on each of my visit but I refrain from having it. That stupid ego says, "do it  yourself S, you must!".... I think I have to soon to satisfy myself, else my family is happy with the variety of "luchi / porota" I prepare for them. 

I leave behind all the ego and pray for the mankind when I enter  a religious place. Yesterday was the day our daddy found a better place for himself two years back than listening to our mother's complains all day.... why he is not like her father always working at the garden and doing the right investments.... you know na our mother do not have a world beyond her mother, her father, her sisters & brothers, her children.... okay, she is fond of two of my father's brothers too...... Since  I ask her to learn to think beyond, broaden her horizon just as our father did, she is more fond of her son now who is her pet. He is seven years younger to me, I cannot be jealous of him. That he is into a decent life & job today if not great to my standard is largely my contribution.... I will always take that credit. So, when he sent me the picture of what our mother cooked for our father yesterday, I felt like sharing it with my readers. I must mention that my brother cooked that omelette, I hear that our Pa loved his son made omelette with tomato sauce. Yes, my brother learnt to cook during his two years of staying alone in Durgapur as a bachelor. The daddy loved "khichuri" with dollops of ghee, a variety of fries including fish, "payesh", "mishti doi", "fruits".... so there was... Together the daughter, the son and the wife offered him what all he loved. Do not look at the furnitures of my paternal home.... they are 30-40 years old.

I went to Ramakrishna Mission yesterday of which my parents are followers, the brother's wife's family too.... On any major occasion, his wife would go to the Belur Math being an ardent follower of "Maa Sarada".... Me too is not an exception.... I visited there yesterday evening, sat for a while, contributed a very small amount of donation and came back to have a "samosa" with "teh o kosong".... To be honest, I crave for "shingara" and feels that I have to make it soon to be able to have it.

I am flexible when it comes to religion, that off course is the husband's influence on me.... rather the joint influence of the father and the husband.... I do enjoy my lunches at Muslim restaurants and without that super store, very few South Asians can survive here... The pro-Hindus do not think twice before getting the food or any item handed over by a Muslim or say a vice-versa.... are they a hypocrite like me who does not allow beef inside her home? I have lessened the amount of pork intake for health reasons... but having chaats, appams, dosa, adhirasam everything.... what a dumbo!

Off late, I have decided not to sit and eat on a too rustic place.... I discovered hair on a dosa.... so should not go for a 2 -3 $ meal. My lunch today is poha with lots of veggies.... its full of carb I know.... so unwilling to buy oats, so much. Leaving aside the chia seed, I was having tea with "ruti" this morning. My honest declarations may cause irritation in you just as your pretence does to me. Come to me leaving behind tricks & politics, else do not come.... I have stopped expecting or trying to woo you .... you will not get sugar coated words from the rustic me either.

After discovering hair on my food in a local eatery, I have increased the number of experiments at home... I am not so keen on spending 8-10$ for lunch everyday when my men carry home cooked lunch boxes. My next try is soaking and pasting some idli rice, adding coconut milk to it and preparing thin crepes. Yes, I will not buy an appam pan or ferment the batter just because I love it. When successful, shall do a photo feature. Let us come to the cake I baked on 14th of April... last to last Sunday. Cristine was on leave, so I had to plan for a few ingredients, easy cake... one to be taken to a dinner date I went for later in the evening and one for the family. My wish was not instant.... you can see that I got home the Stevia extract in advance.

I did so because I wished to have at least two slices of the SUJI COCOA CAKE with my morning tea. No, I am still not a wise person, I had "ek bati bhorti shinni", "jilipi o golap jam" in the past week at two different friends' places. Resistance Training of the Mind is the first step to a healthy life, weight loss programme which I failed in miserably. However, surviving on "ghol and dal" cannot be a part of a healthy diet either. If one has the resistive  power, one should take the liberty to spend on a dietician. I cannot because I know I cannot survive without junks, spicy meat and fish curries. This cake is simply made without using expensive nuts, dry fruits, this & that and using the convection mode of my microwave oven. Reports say that it tasted good, whoever had it said it was good! My request was like "please give me an honest review".... I will not claim it to be a super soft cake... it was not... it was dense & moist... not "norom tultuley ba furfurey"....




Take the semolina, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, sugar alternative on a bowl.

Mix very well so that there remains no lump. Would powdered semolina give a better result? Shall try next time.

In a blender not meant for spices, take the milk, yogurt, cinnamon powder and oil. Blend at high for 2 minutes, pausing in between.

Pour the mixture to the semolina mixture. Add the vanilla essence and whisk to a smooth batter.

Keep standing for 20-25minutes covered. One covered and pour into two foils. I find them easier than cake tins.

I preheated my convection mode microwave at 180*C. I do not know how ovens function. Then I baked one cake at a time for 25-26 minutes at 180*C.

Your machines may differ, so be careful about the timing. 

Enjoy as a tea / coffee time snack.

Friday, 12 April 2019


 It is 9 am in the morning and I am just starting with this post.... When people set out of home for a greater cause, I look forward to a lazy, idle day. Whatever, I enjoy it if only you allow me to spend it my way! That freedom I do get, the reason why I am not venting out my anger even after four rejected calls from yesterday night until this morning, not even my messages are answered but they are seen. I cannot even give such ultimatums "bari esho dekhacchi".... come home I will show you. In this matter he is his mother's son, "ulte tomai norok theke ghuriye anbey"... Anyway, I am going to share an easy, dessert recipe today which is done in a jiffy, yet tasted awesome.... the son did have before going to the school. The primary plan was to prepare a "shabedar sandesh".... did not get good quality chiku / sapota ... a personal favourite since childhood... I think the ones we used to have in Kolkata are better... softer,  juicier, fleshy and sweeter. The major difference between my side of the family and that of the husband's when it comes to buying fruits is that their home limits themselves to "apel, kola, aam, lebu".... in our side, almost all available fruits in Kolkata did come to our home "jamer shomoy jam, peyarer shomoy peyara"... the mother made it a point to feed us all the seasonal fruits except for these plums. I do not know why but they were available in the Dum Dum market, our landlady used to give us. We distributed in the neighbourhood the giant sized jackfruits that came from the maternal grandparent's home. I buy them here a mere 100-150gm for 5 dollars.... I love it but the rest at home cannot take the strong smell. I do not get my kind of jackfruit here, the juicy variety. I wish to blog on my daddy's favourite "kathal kheer"... the entire summer he would be snacking on mango, jackfruit, his all time favourite banana with puffed rice and beaten rice varieties.... he would not touch chapati during their season... He disliked chapati except for  having them with milk, sugar and banana. He used to have "luchi-porota" instead in breakfast. I so wish to do a photo session of his favourite snacks with a caption... "those were our paa's favourites"... I do not do it... let those who are counting their last breath live life peacefully. I find it so silly when people pay their homage to the expired souls with a photograph in a public post, then my silly actions also cause irritation in them. Our father's second death anniversary is in few days, I will cook his favourite fish curries for him, go to the Ramakrishna Mission and donate a little something. So, when I am planning to feed the freshest of the fruits to our visiting mother next month, the brother says that she cannot stay for 2 months... I think the problem is with him.... he cannot! He got his hilsa curry, mutton and chicken all in a week, I am not bothered if he cannot have this uncanny but yum dessert with plum, milk and paneer... the homemade cottage cheese of the Indian Subcontinent... PLUM KHEER!

I actually prepared a good amount of paneer from 2 litres of milk, the initial plan was different. I used lesser amount of it finally on an unplanned dessert as this one. What to do with the rest? Let me think about it later. I have a lot of cooking to be done today, tomorrow I cannot touch fire and non-vegetarian food. So, when the plan for something with Sapota / Shobeda / Chiku did not work out, I bought those fresh plums... used three of them.... the rest will go in the making of a spread. All of a sudden I remember that "kaki"... our landlady used to say that plum helps to remove the impurities from the blood, even yam does so. Then I planned it this way, preparing a plum spread and filling in the paneer balls with it.... name it "plum bhora sandesh".... There came in some flashbacks.... I do not usually forget nasty behaviours.... cancelled my plans .... it was already 7:30 pm yesterday and I landed thereafter into this PLUM KHEER.... a pudding. I could have named it Plum Paneer Kheer, I will not do it.... I hope my readers will not seek explanation for all of my actions.... even I have no idea about most of my weird acts. Actually, instead of paneer you can use condensed milk or evaporated milk for thickening of the kheer / pudding. If you have noticed, I do a little bit of experimentation with desserts, they may not be conventional most of the time. They enjoy it... specially the son. There will be a time soon when he may have to survive on store bought food, let me do my bit for him. I wonder why he watches those cookery shows on Netflix... he loves music but not of his mother's genre.... partly of his father's.... he watches cookery shows so different from his mother's choice of food ... the father is never into food shows! Anyway, that they carry mumma / wifey made idli in their lunch boxes and eat them too is a hope I would like to cling on!

That is this morning. Mumma even makes Cristine didi eat them! Please stop buying those packeted batters. Like, I do not wish to go through the ordeal  of preparing a fermented batter, what I do is prepare these instant ones with a variety of millets and grains.


MILK : 1LT + 500ML


I actually prepared the paneer / homemade cottage cheese from 2 litres of milk. I took it on a heavy bottomed vessel and got to boil. I mixed 2tbsp water to 5-6tbsp of lemon juice. I added it to the boiling milk and the milk curdled. I strained and separated the whey from the paneer, hanged it for 30-35 minutes to get this.

I prepared the paneer with tetra pack milk, so it is not super white. I am not particular if it is not for roshogolla.

We do not need all of the paneer you see above, my final plan did not require it.

I washed and chopped the plums.

Then I added 4 tbsp of  sugar to it.

Switch on gas and put the bowl atop. Let the sugar melt. Keep the heat at minimum.

Add little water to the bowl.

Let cook at low heat for 5 minutes. Take down. Let it cool.

In another vessel take 500ml full cream milk and put for boil.

Boil at low heat for 12-14 minutes. Add 2tbsp of milk and slightly torn green cardamoms to it. Keep stirring.

Add less than 1/2 of the paneer you see, gently fold in. Let boil for 2-3 minutes at the lowest heat.

Switch off gas and transfer the content to a serving bowl. Let cool "completely."

Gently add the plum & sugar mixture to the kheer / pudding.

Crush some pistachios and garnish your quick fix dessert.

Chill it before you serve.

Thursday, 11 April 2019


Oh! finally I am ready with my pictures. Yesterday, I missed the very few stepwise pictures I clicked for this recipe, totally forgot actually. When I cook something different from usual or authentic Bengali or the look of the final dish does not match with the ingredient list, I prefer giving stepwise pictures. I do not wish to put my readers into disbelief. I am starting late today, once I finish it, I have to run to the Indian market alone because Cristine didi has to serve lunch to the son... "Mumma cooked dal, bhindi bhaja, dimer jhol".... Why mumma has to run to the Indian market?... because she has some decent plans for next Monday... she wishes to cook fresh for the D-Day.... none of her pictures till now is at per with the oncoming occasion... I enjoy them only in other's space. I discovered such a rustically beautiful stream yesterday.... that too on a day of the men's favourite Bhetki... I get to see a "Loter Jhuri".... "I murmered... "bah... khub bhalo laglo, dekhbo ebar theke"... "Bangale Bangal chene, shuyorey chene kochu"... I even felt like calling the mother and ask her to buy these... "morche pora lohar bashon koshon kota kiney rekho to Mani".... then I restricted myself... I lack sincerity & aesthetic sense too may be ... after 9pm, I cannot do the arrangement to create such a lovely scenario.... "choter tukrao Baguiati Bazaarey season e mele, dur". I will just cook and serve, I am a fan of someone's diligence and sense of humour.... protocol does not have a strong presence in my dictionary. I will not waste time observing... I will just roam around, buy some good quality mutton today because I have requested someone to have me cooked mutton at least for once.... though this island is not the right place to buy mutton... its dry... where is the fat that mingles with the spices and play around in the wok kissing each other for 2 hours. I tried such a long distance romantic scene yesterday evening... thought of recording that song after a hairdo and send someone... "yeh hai reshmi julfon ka andhera na gabrayiye".... then I stopped myself. His new job role is quite demanding, he travels most of the time and they have the ordeal of arranging seminars with the officers attending with their wives. He and his team were in trouble this time when they had to arrange for two different hotels for the stay. If a sailing officer's wife gets upset with the arrangement, you know what can happen ... I had been attending with a baby boy then. I have stayed in one of them back in 2009, January.... the best breakfast spread did I find in one of the Holiday Inn, Glenmarie... oh! their variety of Danish Breads! At the moment, I am having my Japanese Green Tea with a Cheese Bun... love! I am not trying to prove anything but the pandan cakes or the Japanese cheese cakes I so loved are what I am unable to consume recently... they smell egg. I told Cristine to give me soft boiled eggs only when I ask for it and also wish to prepare egg curry with soft boiled eggs.

I love those local bakery cheese buns but cannot have on a regular basis... they come for the son, while the husband will have them only when we pack them in the lunch box. Next week, I will not be blogging, shall utilise the time trying my hands on may be a ladi pao or an egg free custard. As, of now I am in a more or less happy mood because I am blogging on a mutton dish SHORSHE BATA NARKOL DUDHE MUTTON, because I will have a chaat platter for my lunch, because I will welcome the husband's homecoming with home cooked food... we have not talked for 11/2 day long because he has no time to listen why I am upset, we do not agree on sending the son to the bahargaon so early. He things that country is the best for higher education... I think like a mother... how secured is that place for my son, he is a young boy... who will be his friends, to what extent will he set himself free.... I do not like that country's free culture... did using 6 slangs in one sentence, roaming bare and 5 marriages got peace in people's home... where is the bond? We are not accompanying the son.... what will he do there?

In a family there is something called sitting together and discussing an issue... in this family it does not work that way. So, I engage myself in the kitchen... happily though! With this mutton curry with  Bengali style spices, I also cooked PEASHOOT GREEN MOONG DAL & COCONUT PEANUT RICE , SHAHI EGG CURRY .... just click the bold letters for the archived recipes. I know I am not touching the hearts of the vegetarian people at the moment.... did they ever try to touch our hearts? During the span of Mahalaya to Durga Pooja.... I see people pouring in their heart for Navaratri or Diwali... never they do anything for our Durga Pooja... Ok praying to Nabadurga is Navaratri celebration but I wish to see the mention Debi Durga... no one does.... coming pujo, if I have to share sweet recipes, I will do "chanar mishti".... and not "byashoner mishti or khoyar mishti".... but yes, Bengalis do lack unity .... I have seen this in the first Bengali group I joined when I was an innocent, how the revered Mr. I, e, o, you's tone changes for different people.... I hate indecency in people... I know how independent workers are smothered by such kinds.... only because you do not pay allegiance to them... only because you are not a famous blogger... why would I even want to be with the Kolkata food related stalwarts, I do not even stay there! I am a Bengali from Kolkata and I am telling you in full sense that "Prabashi Bengalis" have a broader heart... No, I am not into any kind of "gatbandhan".... I am a free bird! It is not that I do not want thousands of visits but cannot lick anyone's feet for it... specially of those who do not know how to behave. I indeed used to get considerable amount of visits when the social media allowed us to post in groups generously. One among my friends again added me to that group, never will participate but do enjoy some shares.. I am happy with the few number of friends in the food world... and the real classy ones. Let us talk food, I need to finish and go out... an afternoon visit to a wet market does not fetch you the best quality mutton or prawns but I wanted to share this for my readers. Do not get upset looking at the number of the chillies used in the non-vegetarian meat curry SHORSHE BATA NARKOL DUDHE MUTTON.... they were not hot enough. Actually, I got some lamb chops that day so did with it, you can use mutton.

Feels very good to be able to get out of my mental block and contribute little something to two good causes, do it for the needy if you may! No, there is no wrong in saying that I have contributed to a good cause, Lady Diana's major fame did not come from her beauty alone.

You can either serve the mutton curry with a rice, lentil curry, a vegetable dish and fritters or prepare a similar platter in the picture, SHORSHE BATA NARKOL DUDHE MUTTONPEASHOOT GREEN MOONG DAL & COCONUT PEANUT RICESHAHI EGG CURRY ! Click the bold letters for the recipes!


CLOVE : 3-4


Let us prepare the spice paste first.

Take the mustard seeds in a strainer and wash. I am not fond of yellow mustard but it is healthier. Transfer to a blender. 

Add the chillies.

Add water, 2 ice cubes, little salt. Blend to a smooth paste. 

Wash the mutton pieces thoroughly, marinate with 1tsp turmeric, the lemon juice, 1/2 of the mustard-chilli spice paste, mustard oil. 

Refrigerate in an airtight container overnight or for 5-6 hours at least. Take out 1hour before you start cooking.

If you are too particular, prepare the spice mixture in two batches, else you can store the half in an airtight glass container.

Heat oil in a wok and temper with a bay leaf, cinnamon sticks, green cardamom, cloves.

Add 1/2 tsp turmeric and the garlic paste. Stir.

Add the rest half of the chilli-mustard spice paste and stir for not more that 1 minute.

Add the mutton pieces now without the marinade, fold in well and cook at high heat for 5 minutes.

Now add the marinade, fold in well and turn the heat to the lowest. Cover cook for 45-50 minutes or until all the water that have released dries up. Uncover and give a stir every 5 minutes.

When all the water have dried up, dilute the coconut milk with 1small tea cup of water. Adjust the salt. 

Fold in well and cover cook at the lowest heat for 15-20 minutes, add little water in between if required.

I like adding fews slitted green chillies towards the end.

Enjoy hot with steamed rice, get some salad besides other vegetarian sides.