Wednesday, 20 February 2019


It was only yesterday morning when I was planning something similar to this rice dish for my dinner. As told earlier, I went for a quiet lunch date yesterday and the plan was to have a chaat platter... I love it way too much served chilled... not always willing to gather five things to prepare a plate for myself! Anyway, I think every police station of Philippines have my photo in their record book... I do not wish to add more to it asking Cristine to have papri chaat for lunch. If I buy a 500gm packet of papri, I finish it in 4-5 days and shout at the poor girl when she fails to get the two ends of the measuring tape meet at my N... haha! "A" marked joke?... ok ok lah... not to go further. Now, if I eat junk for the day, I have to have some rice before retiring to the bed .... I mean it is a "bheto bangal's" take... my system stops working otherwise! Since, I am a sit at home worthless, I feel more the heat on days when I am out for longer periods.... I need coolers all day... that made me prepare those vegetarian, stuffed rice balls... served chilled to myself... GARLIC TEMPERED FRESH HERBS & MUSHROOM TEMPERED RICE BALLS Yesterday, I had it with a glass of iced tea around 10:15pm! I enjoyed it way too much. In this rarest of the rare case, my men had full Bengali dinner and me... ok enjoyed the Oriental inspired meal.... "bewra hoon kya isko authentic boloon?".... Eight years on, I still stand in front of the rack full of Oriental Sauces and wonder which is what.... Standard sized Pomfrets are quite pricey here... I get them home because my men love it. I am not fond of it... I just eat it and felt that I will not enjoy it with dal & rice... I have to have something of my choice.

Yes, my men love their "alu sheddo" with a generous amount of ghee and I keep nagging "how come you guys even have ghee or butter without a green chilli".... By the way, the thickness of the soya sauce & chilli padi dip is due to the tamarind pulp I added... I loved it.... One ball was for Cristine off course.

The reason for this idea of GARLIC TEMPERED FRESH HERBS & MUSHROOM STUFFED RICE BALL may have borne of my likeness to having rice  with soya sauce and chopped green chillies. I laughed out loud the day I discovered myself christened into a "halfway islander".... I still cannot have clams & mussels. Did I ever think in my childhood that I will one day fancy those "dheki chata chal" varieties? Yes, this dish has been prepared with red rice, although I love the brown rice variety the local Tamil Minimarts sell... We have two in our neighbourhood, In one, its either the lady or her husband sits in the cash .... one day she told me how to prepare appam in a normal pan... I do like building relationship this way who I think may serve my soul. In between going ahead with the preparations for this vegetarian main dish, I was talking to Mani ... The mother as usual got a scolding .... its just recently that she has recovered from a weeklong flu and she went out on a day tour to this temple in Rishra and that in Sreerampore. Its just early spring, she might have set out around 5am, went to the Barrackpore Ferry Ghat and crossed over on a boat.. Thank God that she rode toto & auto for the purpose... no her kids do not tell her that riding public vehicles may go against their "status symbol".... haha... we are non-pedigreed! I rebuked because she over does it ... she has not learnt anything from the humanist she was married to... "dharmandho manusher tyamon kono tatporjo nei aajker prithibitey.... dharma kokhono manusher urdhey noy"..... his wife may not have but I have taken some good lessons from my father.... who throughout his life has practiced humanism.... it is for him that I could tell straight on the face of people with shallow minds... who told me something I found derogatory..... I have the guts to say straight on face that you are making me feel uncomfortable, please leave me alone. I have nothing to fear or lose because I hate "moshahebi, chatukarita, abhinoy".... I cannot be a double standard... one as you see and something else once you turn your back! I do not claim myself to be a good human being altogether ... no one can be only good but I am better than anyone who bad mouths. Coming to the dish... it was planned yesterday morning, the mushroom, parsley , fresh tamarind were bought on way back from my date... and done between 9pm and 10pm.... because I had cooked red rice in store!


BLACK SESAME SEED : 1/2TSP [I missed, you should not]


Take the rice on your plate, add little salt, 2tbsp soya sauce, black sesame seeds and freshly ground, coarse black pepper.

When I was mixing the content well, lightly pressing it with my palm so that I can bind the ball without refined flour, rice flour, corn flour or egg.... Cristine chopped and washed rest of the ingredients required for the filling ... the fresh flavour indeed made me happy.

Heat oil in a wok and temper with minced garlic & ginger.

When you are about to fall for the mesmerising aroma of burnt garlic, you need to check yourself and add the sliced onion.

Once the sliced onions turn golden brown, we will add the chopped fresh chillies. Stir for 1/2 a minute.

Now add the chopped mushrooms and stir for a minute.

Add the chopped fresh herbs and 2tsp of soya sauce.... adjust the salt.

Stir for not more than a minute and then transfer to a plate. Let it cool completely.

Tear out a bigger portion of the marinated rice, flatten with your palm and add some filling atop.

Cover it to get the shape of a stuffed rice ball. Relax, we do not have to roll and make parathas. The initial plan was to prepare smaller balls and batter fry them. I thought no point after having a chaat platter for lunch.

When I refrigerated the rice cutlets to get chilled, I prepared the sauce with soya sauce, tamarind paste and chopped chilli padi.... what a celebration of my tongue...

In a tropical climate, it is not a crime to have chilled, stuffed rice with a glass of iced tea around 10:15 pm!

Monday, 18 February 2019


Many a thing are disrupting the peace of mind and I was literally eating up the head of the quieter person at home. As I went through the indecency of people in social media .... wondering how is it possible to behave so differently in public and in private... I found the otherwise rigid myself enjoying half bare bodied men and women throughout ... haha... at least they are selling themselves .... Who are those Satans who stood in front of a girl's hostel and asked to hand over the girls to them or demanding shutting down of certain business houses ... why?.... na those girls or businessmen have come from a place which is not in the good book of the one side of the radicals.... I am pretty sure it is the same in the other side too! Can we trade hatred with love? I see "highly educated" people spreading filth and instigating violence all through social media giving birth to more of enmity! Any such nonsensical post forwarded to me was sent to my garbage bin, I refuse to even read some. I turn to the husband and say that it is our faulty education system that furnish degrees and do not teach us compassion.... the basic quality required to be called ourselves human. Why not? A majority of the educationists are spreading rumours, breeding hatred.... nothing but extremists, radicals will be produced by them. Those radicals who will create ruckus in both sides of the border.... I thought I am in the top rank of the idiots who stood stupefied in Rakhal Sir's Physics and Chemistry class or in the Biology class always unable to answer.... Rakhal Sir yet loved me ... I do not know why... The disregard between me and the Biology teacher was mutual... he discriminated the students, kept dirty eye on the happening girl students, abused the back bencher boys in front of everyone! Well, I do not fall in the category who enjoy unknown males  praising their body parts... grapes are definitely not sour in this case. Ratna Ganguly Biswas di... if you are reading this, I love you... wish I had got a Biology teacher like you! Yes, I will stick to 'my' definition of a "qualitative woman" till death! I perhaps got 28 or 35 in Mathematics out of 100 in the 10th board test, got so tensed on how to clear the final boards.... did able to clear with a percentile of 55 or 59 may be ..... I remember the hapless face of my mother on the result day.... we were making a theftly exit when our T who was noting down each one of our total marks obtained stopped us. I was tired and sad, more for my mother.... got so pissed off with T that I did not visit his home for months. I did not like him looking at my mark sheet.. haha! Now he is the one I turned to yesterday saying "Boss I do not feel like mingling with anyone & everyone and take part in blunt discussions, its getting difficult for me".... All his humour comes out on a weekend... that too on his wife.... "dudin Arundhati Roy shoriye Tarapada Roy poro".... I am reading Twinkle Khanna actually, hopefully Mr.K will not exercise his karate stunts on me! I do not have a problem with people having a different opinion than mine, I am unable to get along with people who spread hatred, filth, violence in public when the need of the hour  requires one to remain level headed. So far the author has taken us to an Ayurvedic Retreat in Kerala where the leading lady meets her ex-husband with his new, hot stuff wife.... It is not an easy, pleasant sight for the protagonist you can understand .... lets see where the read takes me to.... off course not on a fairy tale ride. In a real life situation, it cannot be an all kiss scenario praising on how lovely they look together.... I mean one should have this much of self respect for oneself not to! One can only wish the best and move ahead in life. I sincerely hope to get back soon with the twosome blogposts .... in fact all my fish posts are two on a plate.... it makes clicking easier for me who is very poor in this area... So, you can see that I do not find it necessary to hide the real me, neither you should. I just request people to stay calm and decent in public! I wish I could blog on a scallop & asparagus seared in butter or crispy fried squid rings today not showing any mercy to the radicals sitting on both sides of the wired fence. Then, I cannot cook them at home and a prawn serves my immediate purpose.... I believe that if you cannot behave in public, you have not learnt the basics of life. Actually, the mother's distorted self haunts me often.... I could have shown her some love later ..... when I realised the blunder I made with life and tried to pursue my interest in Journalism or Anthropology, it was too late. Is anybody there? You can do those fashion after you reach somewhere in life. My brother could have, but he engages more in irritating me. I just wished to tell my Mani in public that I could not fulfil her dreams.... but I try to recreate her recipes in my den... this time a CHINGRI DIYE GATHI KOCHUR DALNA ..... prawns and taro yam cooked together with usual Bengali spices..... a non vegetarian side dish.

Oh yes! the men eat veggies when prawns and meat are thrown into them. Of me, I prefer smaller sized prawns these days and stick to what I feel .... bigger prawns does not seem that tasty when you get the ability to buy them on any date of the month! The son is at home today.... he is under an examination schedule which I got to know from Piali... my friend... to whom I can say... "duto zedi ghorar jonyo amar chulgulo pekey gelo shob...".... actually the first one was discovered at age sixteen at the grand parent's home few weeks after I left that 'Benglish' school for ever. Yesterday, the husband taunted or mocked whatever.... "wife do not struggle to speak English".... quite in contrast to an yesteryear friend cum senior, now famous Anindya Chatterjee who used to scold me and Chandrayee while chatting at our lawn.... "aai akaroney ingrizite katha bolbi na".... because our professors Mahim Babu and Kalipada Babu were always in praise of his excellent command over Bengali.... that the "Bethuner Bangla Department er Didira".... read out Anindya's essays to their girls... I lost all confidence during the Bengali examination... faired average and phew gone with the wind was my wish to pursue Bengali Literature. It was this T and some other who went to Iva Miss and reportedly told her that her blue-eyed girl did miserably poor in Bengali.... I was upset when she told me this... and confessed sobbing inconsolably that I have exam fear... I hate to meet targets... A toast to that unique "Bongofied" eye glasses of Anindya or his determination to live his dreams .... here is  a CHINGRI DIYE GATHI KOCHUR DALNA! I do not bother whether a West Bengal origin Bengali eats yam or not, neither will I go public bragging ... "you know I know Anindya from the days when he expressed his dislike for doshta-pachter chakri, that he had high regards for one DSO r didi who held secret meetings at Presidency".... I keep myself away from any such thing and get my men their loves for a Sunday dinner. If they eat my spicy treat with yam and smaller prawns... I do not mind. The thing is that I had to have chia with banana.... the lunch yesterday was heavy.... with no amount of exercise for the past two days, I could not think otherwise. This morning too it was dalia idli for all of us which I tactfully push into their stomachs in between a biryani, burger and prawn curry day!

Life could have been all good if I could close my eyes to the nuisance that amounts to the retarded growth of two nations.... can we stop injecting poison into young minds and let them grow  to understand that we are just pawns in a bigger political game where the heads are always shaking hands at the cost of our lives. I am cowardly and wish my son not to return to the fire.... neither the ones who have arrived here... my intention will always be to indoctrinate.... "consider yourself the daughter & son of the world society and do not allow petty minds to conquer the good in you." I have to wrap up... needs to make  preparation for some fish kachori for the family and take some fish tikki and sweet potato filled kachori for someone I am meeting for a lunch date tomorrow. Who told you that I am not an escapist? All of these 48 precious years... I have escaped from anything that can cause hurt to me... my mother has not taught me to face the world... However, I learnt some authentic Bengali, family recipes as this one from her... she from her mother... I take pride in each one of them including this non vegetarian sides using usual Bengali spices, taro yam and smaller sized prawns!

As I am about to shut myself up and share the recipe, I am into another cuppa... this time a relaxing Chamomile tea with ginger cookies... I never can get rid of my 3-tier belly... no point spending a single dollar on the slimming apps... in my case!


PRAWN : 300-400gm [medium or smaller sized]
TARO YAM : 10-12 [smaller sized .... nearly round or oval do I prefer]
TURMERIC POWDER : 1/2tsp + 1/2tsp + 1/2tsp
CUMIN SEED : 1/4tsp
SUGAR : 1tsp
OIL : 4-5tbsp [we use mustard always]


To be on the safer side put on your kitchen gloves. Wash the taro yam under running water and take on a heavy bottomed vessel... fill with water as much as the yams needs to be covered or little more. Put on the heat and boil covered at low heat for 12-13 minutes.

Switch off gas stove and let cool. Drain the water and peel off the skin with your fingers. It gets easier after boiling... your gloves must be on.

They are a little slippery now. Rub with 1/2tsp turmeric and salt. Heat oil and fry them until brown in batches.

Meanwhile, we have de shelled, washed and marinated the prawns with salt and 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder.

While the fried taro yam are resting on a plate, we will discard the marinade from the prawns and lightly fry them.

In a bowl prepare a smooth paste with cumin powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric, red chilli powder, ginger paste and salt. The mother definitely uses a secret ingredient that she does not share with me. In the last visit too, I loved her's.

Temper the same oil with a bayleaf, cumin seeds and slightly torn from the end dry red chillies. I do not half them these days as they look better while whole. Oh yes, good looks keeps me on since my teen! If they can keep their pride a little under control I feel better.... when they criticise on other's looks... I say... please take your leave....

Oh! I hope the tempering did not burn, hurry up add the spice paste. You remember na we need to slow cook when it comes to "maa-dida-thakumar" ranna!

Stir fry the spice mixture at minimal heat for 2 minutes, add the fried taro yams now... Fold in well and stir for a minute.

Add 1 coffee mug of water, Bring to boil keeping the heat at the lowest.

After some 5-7 minutes, add the sugar and fried prawns, slitted green chillies, tamarind juice, adjust the salt if only required. Let cook for 3-4 minutes.

Transfer to a serving bowl.... garnish with ghee / clarified butter! Enjoy hot with steamed rice with a dal, meat curry, some salad alongside!

Friday, 15 February 2019


"kahan se shuru karein yaar, mann ma itna emoson jagey... aajkaal kuch jyada hi hai... buddhi jo ho rahi hoon... par duniyadari sikh li hai maine.... apne aap ko kudhich samhalna parta hai...".... Why Mumbai lingo all of a sudden? Yesterday, we watched the movie Gully Boy and were back home a little after midnight! I had always been a fan of a Zoya Akhtar style and immensely liked the message in the movie. If you have a dream, chase it. No one is here to rot in a drain.... it may not be as easy to achieve as in a movie, but lets give it a try. This SPICY SWEET POTATO STUFFED KACHORI and the movie going event was just a coincidence. Preparing a kachori and not a kochuri was on my plan for a week now. Look at the picture, last week when I was preparing a koraishutir kochuri for the family, the filling spilled from one or two... It happens with many of us... but I get too irritated. Whatever little I can do.... that should show enough of my love for it... else I am not happy. What I did was, moved away the rolling pin and base... and prepared the smaller ones... I smiled, I danced... my boy ... our Cristine enjoyed... the husband was on tour... the reason why I took up the project yesterday afternoon to have it as our dinner. I totally forgot that we had a movie plan .... around 7 pm the husband called up to say that he is stuck in a meeting, having dinner there... I got so pissed off, yelled at him. That is when he told me about the night show plan... thereafter came Soumya's warning message that he wants us near the clubhouse sharp at 8:55pm... I feel very bad if we do not sit together and eat the family dinner... else I could have shed at least four kilos in two months. Thanks to the almighty that the filling of purple sweet potato and the semolina - refined flour dough was ready. I just cannot go out for merry making without arranging the dinner for A or P ... whatever you may call him or even for Cristine. On such a hurried situation, shaping the kachori / stuffed South Asian Bread in between your palms does help.... Cristine had to wash less utensils... Still wondering why Ipsita had to buy the tickets of Gully Boy, I made them in a jiffy with Cristine always ready to help and did that terrifying photo feature... poorer than what I do usually. However, the taste was awesome! Ipsita got a thumbs up at the end of the movie and Cristine was all praise of it this morning. That Phillippines will never issue me a visa is a different issue altogether! There is still some filling left which I should be able to use by Tuesday! I have reserved 'two ranga' aloo for some 'mishti.'

"Waise bandi ko na nature bahut pasand hai... to photu khichti rehti hai... accha ho ya bura... Yaha to shaher mein nature doondna parta hai!"....

I do not plan ahead a project properly, I am not good at it.... so with the South Asian stuffed fluffy breads SPICY SWEET POTATO STUFFED KACHORI, I could not arrange for any make ahead chutneys or sauces... served them with raita, salad, a siracha-mayo sauce ... we are loving the spiky chilli tone of it... they enjoy it on their sandwiches... "main thairi desi... de diye kachori ke saath".... Anyway, I thank our siblings and their spouses for all the fun messages they kept posting yesterday in Whatsapp.... and also thankful to one Mr. R... the champion of humour is a middle aged guy whose mother was a friend of mine. Had she being alive, she would have been 68.... she wished her boy and T to live in the same city.... why boudi is so late to call them R and M with their families? In that case, I have to plan the menu with diligence... one is a Bengali with a SriLankan wife, the other Maharashtrian... the common factor is fish... but not hilsa... "ilish yaar apunka area hai... pakka".... As of now, I can treat them virtually with this breakfast / evening tea / coffee time snack... they had been a big support for my blog!








For the filling, choose some fresh sweet potatoes. I got home the purple ones.

The miser me never buy the Australian ones. Sabji fresh honi chahiye.

Discard the two ends, peel and cut small. Wash and pressure cook at the lowest heat up to 2 whistles adding 2coffee mugs of water. Strain it.

Let it cool. Mash it. We have the chopped ingredients cut, washed and ready on the kitchen counter. The Chaat Masala is wow so yum!

Heat oil in a pan or wok and temper with cumin seeds. 

Add the sliced onion and stir for 2-3 minutes continuously at medium heat.

Add the chopped green chillies now and stir for another 2-3 minutes.

Add the boiled sweet potato, to it add some salt and the turmeric powder. Fold in well and keep stirring for 4-5 minutes.

Add the chat masala and chopped fresh coriander now. Fold in well and cook for 2 more minutes.

Once done, transfer to a plate and let it be like that for an hour or two. The drier it is, more hassle free.

Now the dough. Take the refined flour, semolina and salt in a bowl and mix well. Add the ghee or clarified butter and rub well for 2-3 minutes.

Now add water little by little and prepare a dough. The smooth dough takes some 10-12 minutes to prepare.

Cover it for 15 minutes. Open cover and tear off small balls.

Make a hollow space in each one of them, with a spoon fill in with the hot sweet potato mixture.

Bring together all the sides and close. Cristine does this step pretty well. 

Now, instead of using a rolling pin I just pressed lightly in-between my palms. Make sure that your palms are clean. Do not press with fingers... they may spoil. Do not press hard with the palm either.

Heat oil in a wok and fry them adjusting the heat constantly. Please do not hurry else the inner part may remain uncooked. 

Keep for sometime on a tissue paper before serving them with your choice of chutneys, salad, sauces and raita!

Wednesday, 13 February 2019


Does not look like a D-Day share... right? Who said I celebrate?... or may be it will be my 48th celebration .... haha! Each day is a celebration for me if only you let me do what I wish to... this trait is not so old a development... else our mother would have faced serious trouble bringing me up. I see the brother whose every step is a dictate of his mother and think I have got out of it long back.... courtesy... the husband... The fiercely independent human who had the ability to make queries to the doctors while he was almost @ his "..... bed"... a couple of times! Lying alone at a hospital in Rotterdam with his right palm cut into half almost , he had the strength to call his office and instruct not to inform his family and wife who may collapse. I went to the airport to receive an untimely visitor. I have to keep faith in the almighty who saved me from all the storms I have faced till date,  my men may not! However, I do not feel like creating a twosome post as I did some 3-4 years back.... and write absurd notes ... "I have never fancied or looked at any other girl, the entirety of my soul belongs to you... I have known that a rose is worth gifting only when my parents arranged my meeting with you"... and vice versa! I turn to the husband and say "yaar Boss... humlog to badmash thairiley... kitne ko ankh marte firte hai".... However, I quite enjoy when dear people share such silly posts ... do but be careful about the captions... it need not sound too absurd.... human mind is enveloped with layers of emotions... one need not hide it. The boss of this house prefers to avoid such special occasions saying that it all started as "Archies' Gimmick" to sell their Greetings Cards! I do not mind, I just  enjoy my stay on earth my way.... look at what I had for lunch yesterday... my favourite hot & spicy noodles which has a poached egg, minced pork, fried ikanbilis, sautéed greens in it.... too much of a love.... The thing is that Ipsita too gifted me the same book that I got from India.... okay, keeping the gift and may give away mine to people who love reading... a Piali Maitra or Namrata Majumder may be.... if only I like the read!

Love is also cooking a dessert as yummy as this CHAL PATALI GURER HALWA for the family, even if I do not get a solitaire finger ring on special days... Actually, until our last day we do not get to know ourselves in totality... who knows I want a gift at all or not and where I am when... may be I am busy digging the rubbles of memory... buying Archies' Cards from "kakur dokan"... despatching either from the Seth Bagan Post Office or from the Ghugudanga Post Office on days when I headed to Chandrayee's home for an Adda session in front of their's with T, MR, Sarajit, Joy, Sukanta, Ajay... at times Tukul and Shiddharta would just cross by! Good old days! Anyway, I was not hopeful about the future of the despatched cards... I had the feeling that they lay ash--tray! However, I have kept the cards I gifted to bossy and a total of 25 letters he wrote to me from different voyages at our present Kolkata home... They were mostly 3-4 liners, only one was of 20 pages ..... yes, he wrote that when I told him how to convince my family of bankers who are not familiar with a sailor's life? So, you know your search ends at a point when someone makes you feel too important .... says "I want you!".... but let your feelings flow to the direction it desires to, if you are me... you will not be calculative with them ....

The CHAL PATALI GURER HALWA was not a planned affair... it was in fact a by product of a faulty attempt... I spent an entire day to prepare some coarsely ground rice flour required for a "Dhupi Pitha".... store bought are fine powders. I failed at it which I later found  to be my fault. Whatever it is, I do not waste my food... I stored a major part of the homemade rice flour for more of "pithe-puli".... and prepared this dessert with the used one.

For this CHAL PATALI GURER HALWA, you can use store bought rice flour. You do not sit idle at home like me.... that should not stop you from enjoying the rest of the things you wish to either .... Do not turn your life in to machines... End of the day, when you carry your physical being to the burning ghat or step into your coffin.... you may find that you actually lived a life in captivation! I keep at least 4-5 flavours of tea bags at home and my recent love coffee! Yet, I so enjoy my Teh-o-Kosong at the open food courts. Those tea stall kind of cookies are a childhood favourite. I wish to have them every evening, my health condition does not permit. These open food courts remind me of "desher chaier dokans".... there I cannot sit alone on a roadside tea stall, here I can with ease... no one bothers you... I take a sip and watch another mundane day moving towards an end?.... nope ... to another one.... the baton has to be passed on until we leave for the eternity!

That red packet has "mushurir dal".... with Indian Minimarts around, we need not go to the Super Market always! About this halwa, I will do it for you the way as it should be done from the scratch hoping that your "dhupi pitha" turns into exactly what you wish to! We are using only few ingredients for this yum dessert.... Our boy, who does not like halwa.... had two bowlful, may be  because it tasted more like pudding.




There actually should not be any procedure of cooking... just the ingredients, ideas and love should be well coordinated to get the fruits of labour. In my case, if I do not have the freedom, I cannot deliver!

Okay, heat the ghee on a wok just a little. Add the rice flour. Now keep stirring continuously at the lowest heat  for 3-4 minutes. We will not allow it to burn, neither the raw smell should be there. Take is out and store for a later use.

Add 1 coffee mug of milk and the grated jaggery to the wok. Let the jaggery melt and the mixture come to boil. 

Add the rice flour, fold in well and stir continuously for 2-3 minutes.

Add the remaining 1 coffee mug of milk, grated khoya kheer and fold in well.

Let cook at the lowest heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the green cardamom powder and a spoonful of sugar if required!

Fold in well. After a minute or so... transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with dry fruits & nuts.