Sunday, 23 September 2018


My readers already know that a not at all authentic Bengali Recipe too gets a Bengali name whenever I wish to... My tendency towards blogging on recipes not authentic of any place is also known by now. I am confident without any worry of using the word authentic only when it is Bengali Family recipes.... I do not have to search for them and then get confused to decide which one to choose from the rest.... finally to step out for spices Bengalis usually do not use... like "dalimer shukna bichi".... dried pomegranate seeds.... However, one has to be hopeful about my kinds.... at least I use dry mango powder, dried coconut in my cooking instead of "jirey adabatar jhol" all the time! I just remember I am yet to try the Ottoman spices I got from Turkey.... ok when I use them I will surely share my experience with my readers on my business pages... a business that does not fetch me a single Sing dollar but I love the journey! Unlikely to blog on them because all my readers will not source an Ottoman meat spice packet from Turkey.... I really wish my readers to try the recipes I share.... that gives immense satisfaction! Just as you see me trying the Egg Drop Curry I had at Roshni's place last week... the lady @ Gahonaz .... the silver jewelry line... Earlier I had seen a number of Egg Drop Curry recipes in the internet, never did it. It was yesterday when I did it for the first time.... Its really is wow for my kinds who are not so fond of the white of an egg ... I liked it soft in the egg drop curry or in an omelette with it. I just cannot have eggs the way the husband eats them scrambled in breakfast while on trips .... if any Bengali has said ever that it is so bland to a South Asian's taste bud... I totally agree... Neither can I stand the sight of the son's plate while on tours... piles of bacon, sausages and a bun or two may be! At home they have to eat GHEE GOLMORICH MURGI or similar kinds with homemade breads or with any kind of pulao! You can really trust me on its flavour, the light texture of the curry that we get from using less spices. The west too can have it if you are like our friend Bianca who makes awesome naan bread & dosa! So what If I cannot have sausages & bacon, I love the vegetarian breads the West offers... the most loved is the Danish breads. I know if I can sacrifice bread, rice, wheat, potato, sugar five days a week.... I can lose 2kg in two weeks.... then thinking of quitting them have become a mental block.... Yesterday we visited a friend's home where I ate two big jacket potatoes stuffed with meat & cheese, chicken satays... lost the count how many.... did not skip a plate of rice and ilish either.... that too at midnight! Even the good examples of motivated souls cannot inspire me to start with.... such a food addict I am... So I defend myself saying that my husband does not take any pleasure clicking my pictures, he blatantly refuses too... so I will be what I am... and eat... merry.... drink with a sugar level reaching at 200!

To blog on a GHEE GOLMORICH MURGI does not require so much of talking .... then people at this home does not have time for me while I wish to do some hugging and cuddling stuffs with them over the weekend! Who listens? One headed to the airport half an hour back and the other too has no time to sit with mumma.... I have a couple of friends with whom I can really go out often... then I am too dull a company... to sit with someone needs you to smile and talk.... I will eat and then feel sleepy, then I will discover that I am not the right person to continue with a chat... I am a good listener within a group who has the ability to sit with her food & drinks quietly amidst 10-20 people and then sleep in front of them because our parties continue till 1-2am. I can afford to behave this awkwardly in front of few near ones, not with all! Better is a quiet sunny morning when I sit with my tea / coffee and chat with my readers in written. Even my very quiet friend Piali Maitra told me two months back that S... you are more expressive when you write.... you are not good at oration.... she saw me talking to the front office girls of the son's school... they are so outwardly smart! So, I enjoy sitting alone at a coffee shop or roaming around aimlessly! To share with you the recipe of such non vegetarian sides with chicken..... GHEE GOLMORICH MURGI is always a pleasure be it on a Sunday or at anytime of the week!


Chicken : 1kg medium cut, skin off
Plain Yogurt : 1medium cup beaten
Minced Garlic : 2tbsp
Garlic Extract : 1tbsp
Ginger Extract : 1tbsp
Sliced Onion : 1small cup [of 2 medium sized]
Slitted Green Chilli : 6-8 [adjust]
Black Pepper : 2tsp + 1tsp
Coriander Powder : 1tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp +1/2tsp
Salt : As Required
Lemon Juice : 2tbsp
Bayleaf :1
Ghee / Clarified Butter : 5-6tbsp


Wash the chicken pieces thoroughly and pat dry. Marinate it well with the garlic & ginger extracts, beaten yogurt, 1tsp turmeric, 1tsp black pepper, coriander powder, salt as required. Keep aside for 1-2 hrs, no need for refrigeration.

Heat ghee / clarified butter in a wok. Take out the chicken pieces from the marinade and fry in the ghee until each side is little brown... take out.

Add the bayleaf and the minced garlic to the ghee. Stir till we get a nice aroma, add 2tsp of black peppers now. Give a stir.

Add the sliced onion to the wok and fry till they are brown. Add the fried chicken pieces and the marinade. Fold in well.

Cover cook at lowest heat for 7-8 minutes. Open cover and add the slitted green chillies and I coffee mug of water. Cover cook for another 5-6 minutes. We are done. It takes less time than normal as we have fried the chicken pieces earlier.

Add the lemon juice after transferring it to a serving bowl.

Serve fresh & hot with flat breads or rice pilaf.

Friday, 21 September 2018


I dedicate this post LOTE MAACH ER JHURI O BORA to that deceased boy of Nalgoda district of Telangana in India who lost his life to one of the existing malice of the Indian society.... casteism... thinking of the plight of the unfortunate parents... of the surviving wife who is pregnant! The unborn child will never see the father, while giving birth did the boy's parents think that they have to lose their child so early and in this way? How can our own be so nasty? These are the things that bothers me, as a mother it should. I am not a wise soul... so I prefer our son to live as a second class citizen in a foreign country which provides safely & security to him instead of going back to a struggle every morning. I may sound very selfish, self centric which I am when it comes to my brother, my husband, my son! Not really in the mood today to crack some jokes though writing a blog post gives me immense pleasure, I am never forced to do it! Its relaxing! I continue to think when will the Indian parents learn to set free their kids at a certain stage?

Life is pretty busy attending guests at home, or we going out to attend one. It was such a pleasure to attend a family yesterday over dinner which included a visiting "kakima".... aunty from Kolkata! The mains had to be pure Bengali in essence because the starters & the dessert were not Bengali! She gifted me a saree which is too very beautiful! Some people so much know my taste... its a tie & dye kind in print .... I am fond of cotton bagru prints, tie& dyes, Jaipuri juti & kundans. There are reasons why I wish to visit Rajasthan & Gujarat once again.... only for the history of the places?... Nope! The husband says, we will tour India after retirement. The wife has few other demands to be met before that... I am all about "I want".... I want my final home with a terrace garden, a separate puja room, all corners of the flat to be decorated with chosen wooden & terracotta items from Mrignayani, Manjusha, Gurjari, Rajasthali! Last time I wished to, the husband did not allow saying that they are high maintenance and I cannot manage with a toddler, that we are to leave Kolkata in few years. How I disagree with his ideas of a home theatre at the wall... then a sofa, a dining table from steel junction..... they do not attract me! So I follow certain streams in Instagram to treat my eyes. Instagram is not for me, I am not good at photography neither do I know the tricks or have a luck to get one thousand likes for my not so worthy photographs!...  I specially like my friend Rupsha Chaterjee's interiors.... there was a time when Jayanta & Rupa Roy... the painter cum poet couple had so... So, for satisfying my eyes I follow Jaypore, hatkargha, whatmysisterwore, suta_bombay, aham_jewellery, desidrapes and few similar kinds! Oh yes! it goes without saying that I watch Bollywood in Instagram! haha! What is the scenario at the mother's home? When I first saw our new home at Barrackpore, I felt good for we lived in a two roomed rented home for 19 years, we were angry too as the deceased old man took us there without our consent. I wished for a nice decor but the father thought it to be a waste of money, the mother was only interested in her garden and cleaning & wiping her home four times a day! The brother too went after his parents... so you get to see 40 year old worn out pieces all over that home, a horrible concrete structure in the mid of the garden to house the brother's red car... a garden which could grow so many vegetables. Do not forget to visit our mother's terrace garden... her flowers are worth going for shows! The brother's wife too does not have any interest in beautifying her own home.... she could have else!..... She has / had the ability to take three aged people to Vellore alone some three years ago, getting them treated for three different kinds of ailments, getting a cab to Bangalore when Chennai got a flood and catch a next day flight! Well her husband booked the car, air tickets from Kolkata you know! She had the ability to night stay with her father-in-law in a nursing home cabin to attend him.... you must note that the father-in-law did not hurl abuses at her or her parents for a single day.... that matters definitely! Get back as you give! Anyway, when my both parents told me "mamoni you could not have done 1/10 of what Bidisha has done at Vellore, I did not get bitter towards her! I only regret why they have to keep repairing old furnitures when they have the ability for a better living... Beautification is a necessity if you can afford it! However, you may see S still lamenting after 10-15 years of not been able to get her own style of home decor... the husband would call me lazy, call the ethnic pattern high maintenance not worthy of an aged couple.... but we do bond over few things... take a look at our collection.... I do not mind... the extremely level headed husband never gets drunk!

Yes, life has made us very much indifferent. We lament at untoward incidents and eat, drink, merry too! Are we all getting to be armchair activists.... or we are only bothered of our own? The world will never go stress free... we have to live with it!

LOTE MAACH ER JHURI O BORA is not something our family had from the beginning. Fresh Bombay Duck it is which entered our home when I was in college may be. The mother had it at someone's place and tried. We particularly adapted to and like these two preparations. In fact, the mother cooks the jhuri / mishmash / bharta! The bora / pakora / fritters with fresh Bombay Duck is what I have learnt from elsewhere and do at times. You can have the fritters with your tea or coffee or with a simple serving of dal / lentil curry and rice. The bharta / jhuri / mishmash is to be made a bit spicy and to be had with steamed rice! Let us proceed with the two common Bengali recipes with Bombay Duck.... LOTE MAACH ER JHURI O BORA!

INGREDIENTS : [for the Bombay Duck Bharta / Lote Maach Er Bharta]

Fresh Bombay Duck : 1kg
Sliced Onion : 1medium cup [of 2big onions]
Slitted Green Chilli : 7-8 [adjust yours] 
Crushed Garlic Cloves : 12-15
Red Chilli Powder : 1tbsp
Nigella Seed : 1/4tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp + 1/4tsp
Chopped Coriander : 1small cup
Salt : As Required
Oil : 3-4tbsp

INGREDIENTS : [for the Bombay Duck Fritters / Lote Maach Er Bora]

Fresh Bombay Duck : 500gm
Chopped or Thinly Sliced Onion : 1small cup
Chopped Green Chilli : 1-2tbsp
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 1tsp
Gram Flour : 3-4tbsp
Rice Flour : 1small cup
Chopped Coriander Leaf : 1/2small cup
Salt : As Required
Lemon Juice : 1/2small cup
Oil : 100-150ml to deep fry


Let us prepare the Lote Maach Er Jhuri at first!

Cut off and throw the tail end and the head of each of the Bombay Duck Fish. Clean the stomach and cut off the fins too. Cut each fish into smaller pieces, a standard size will give 4 pieces. Wash thoroughly under running water.

Marinate with salt, 1/2 of the turmeric and keep aside for 15-20 minutes.

Heat oil in a wok. Temper with nigella seeds and the crushed garlic, stir. As you get a nice aroma and they turn brown, add the pre washed sliced onion. Fry them till golden brown.

Add the fish pieces discarding the marinade. Stir and cover cook at lowest heat for 7-8 minutes.

Open cover and add the rest of the turmeric powder, red chilli powder, slitted green chillies, adjust the salt! Stir and cover cook again at low heat until all the water that had released dries up 80%.

Break the very soft fish pieces and mash with your ladle. Add the chopped fresh coriander and mix well.

Let cook uncovered until all the water dries up and the content browns a little. Enjoy with steamed rice.

Now let us prepare the Lote Maach Er Bora!

We will need thickly cut Bombay Duck .... say of 3-4 inch thickness. We already know how to clean and wash them. We will marinate them with lemon juice for an hour. This is a must if we find sea fish smelly.

Prepare a paste like batter with the two flours, sliced onion, chopped green chillies and coriander leaves, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, salt as required. Add water little at a time.

After an hour, discard the marinade.... lemon water from the fish. Rub the fish pieces with some salt and turmeric. Let them rest for 10 minutes.

Dip and coat the fish pieces well with the batter and deep fry in the heated oil in batches. We will constantly adjust heat for any fritters / pakora... they should be crisp and well done inside / out.

Try the fritters with some salad, tea / coffee.... else they taste good with rice & dal too!

Wednesday, 19 September 2018


As promised CURRY AND SPICE remains to be a low cost, budget friendly food blog at large, mostly compiling family recipes as you know those yester year ladies did not know how to market their skills.... They however knew how to remain extremely patient while doing a "choshir payesh".... No, I am not taking a dig at our generation... Our blogger friend Indrani Sen teaches at a college in Mumbai, is a published author and does "choshir payesh" too during Poush Sankranti. Even I do it with Cristine's help though not with that much precision.... I wish to blog on it before going to Kolkata this December... however lethargic I got with time consuming cooking! The recipe may be almost same but you must know it will not be a copy from Indrani or from those who have already done it. Around 2015-16, I was even more silly.... got loggerheads with someone alleging that person to be a copy cat.... I started chanting "Nam Myoho Renge Kyo" for mental peace!.... I am not even too particular with it, yet I got tremendously benefitted from it. When I went through the internet, I found even I am blogging on Bengali recipes which some one has compiled some 6-7-8 years back.... You know I cannot take all names... "kuch personal sa 'emoson' wali baat hai".... Keep the content original, photographs your own and give due credit whenever required. If I blog on a "pahadi murg tikka"... I have to browse recipes because its not my family recipe or I have not done any course on cookery. Long back I did love it at the Amber restaurant in Kolkata... I remember it had yogurt and coriander in it, I am the kind who will use her own marination and name it "doi dhonepata bata diya murgir tikka".... Take the example of what happened in my kitchen last Saturday ... I wished for a rich chicken dish... Cristine told that we are running out of almond... I screamed at Cristine for five minutes which is mandatory.... then went ahead with something of my own... wish to blog on it coming Saturday.... Bengalis eat ROSHUN KALOJEERE PHORON ALOO for breakfast on a normal day, but not during Durga Puja... so some chicken, mutton, hilsa has to happen before mid October! I am not so keen on recreating recipes of the master chefs.... it takes time to go through a couple of recipes, select one, getting the ingredients ready at the work station, then throwing off the rest of some curry powders as I am a minimalist and a Bengali when it comes to spices or say cooking! ... I work with few Bengali spices! I do not have time either... so busy eating right from the morning, they took vermicelli upma today, I had to have my share.... I have to go for my walk, on way back I have to visit a nursery too on some days and drink a big glass of sugarcane juice.... no that is not apple juice! Sugarcane Juice is healthy but how much it is for a diabetic I doubt... sucrose content is so high! I do what gives me pleasure! I love potato, I eat it and the sugar level never goes down!

Well I baked an egg free, very "desi" cake too.... soon to blog on it! Though Bengalis will head to Azad Hind Dhaba or Arsalan or for some Indo-Chinese during pujo, yet that cake should be up before pujo .... An "average" Bengali spends 60% of earning on food, will not hesitate to shell out 2000 rupees for a kilo of hilsa but may not be so keen on changing the set of bed spread until they are worn out! I am not interested in judging what is wrong or right today! I am in a happy mood... I will start cooking for the guests due tomorrow.... I had a wonderful bowl of egg drop curry and "ucche chocchori" at Roshni of Gahonaz's home yesterday!.... I am not among her top listed clients, I so much loved that personal touch of her! If you are not so fond of egg whites like me... egg drop curry is for you! Her light curry tasted amazing!

Our mother used to prepare this particular ROSHUN KALOJEERE PHORON ALOO ... a vegetarian side to go with ruti / porota / luchi when we had cough and cold. Whether it cured us or not, we enjoyed having it when the tongue felt dull and tasteless... Garlic does help to cure cough & cold! The mother was / is not fond of potatoes..... wishes to use very less in her cooking but her kids or may be the daughter-in-law loves it too.... so she is forced practically to cook potato! At this home... the father, son, Cristine everyone loves potato! I forget all about my medical condition, grab few pieces and eat. Some of my friends can notice that I have gained again what I had lost few years back .... compare my pictures of 2016 and those clicked recently... I just fail to get motivated such is my love for food and off course cooking... If I am sitting idle, I would just bake a cake or prepare an easy sweet... I was in high school or college, since when I am following some amazing master chefs & home cooks including Rukma Dakshi... simply love her way of draping a saree... so much wish to recreate her "Barishali Ilish" if only my grinder gave me a smooth paste of "kalojeere".... till then try our mother's recipe of ROSHUN KALOJEERE PHORON ALOO! Talks have got finalised with the brother on visiting Manjilat's coming December... I wish to see the difference between commercialised Biryani... korma... kebab and the Begum's personal touch.... I am where History / mystery is... haha... that reminds me of the grave mistakes I did with my academics... my subject of major should have been either History or Archeology or Anthropology or Psychology or Literature.... my mistakes does not allow me to influence the son's decision.... let him pursue what he wishes to!




Peel the skin of the potatoes, wash them. Cut half lengthwise. Cut each half into 2 pieces lengthwise. Now cut each piece into smaller cubes widthwise!

Peel the skin of the onion, cut both end. Wash and cut into thick slices.

De skin each of the garlic cloves and wash. Slit and wash the green chillies.

Take the washed potato pieces, garlic cloves, onion slices in a bowl and temper with salt and turmeric! Keep aside for 5 minutes.

Heat oil in a wok and temper with the nigella seeds and halved dry red chillies. Add the marinated raw vegetables along with the marinade.

Give a quick stir and put the heat level at minimum. After 3-4 minutes, remove the cover and add a small cup of water and the slitted green chillies. Fold in well.

Cover cook at minimal heat for 2-3 minutes. Open cover and add the sugar. Stir once and let cook uncovered at minimal heat for a minute. We are done.

On that particular day I served the vegetable sides with round parathas.

Sunday, 16 September 2018


It was a long long wish to blog on this particular recipe of UCCHE CHINGRI, a very authentic family recipe! This picture was clicked in the month of May, ate bitter gourd after that a couple of times. Then what was I waiting for? Well, I had a conversation with the silly mind, I explained myself that even though some of the dearest people do not eat prawns or meat or either of the two, I have to go ahead with shares with them as main ingredients often. I live with two horrid men who would pick and eat the prawns from the dish and leave the bitter gourd pieces for me.... that should not stop me from cooking and sharing it.... I definitely will prepare a minced meat or meat curry for them to serve with "luchi / porota"on such days!.... Besides, I will talk a lot on food today with my readers... What was I doing the last two days? I went to the Bangladeshi shop and the Indian super market for some "desi" stuffs. I was craving for an "ilish" which gets scarce and expensive during this time of the year. I did not mind buying a 1kg 100-150gm fish for 37 sing dollar, sacrificed the Revlon lipstick I was eyeing at for the time being. Yes, a homemaker must manage her home the right way.... specially applicable for those who do not earn and feed on their husband's hard earned money!So, you can see I love an "ilish" to what extent. Anyway, I am not that wise a girl as I project myself to be.... specially during this time of the year I end up buying few gold & silver ornaments. Waiting to visit "Gahonaz" early next week.... this girl Roshni knows my taste, so does a Jayeeta Dasgupta of My D-Sign.... SAREES With Aesthetics or a Debarathi of .... Shaukh ..... The only reason I do not shop much from the last one is that "all" their sarees are exclusive and the price tag is a bit high.... we have to understand that all the boutiques here have to get their supplies from Kolkata / India! Here we buy 100gm of green chilli for 100 rupees. The Shaukh girl has full support of her husband... who is a painter, photographer, software engineer.... too good at all. I do talk about this soft spoken guy from time to time, indeed he is like a little brother.... I know him ever since I was in 9th standard and he a 5-6 year old boy. Our fathers worked together at the SBI of a small hamlet in the Murshidabad district of Bengal for 3 years.... then I discovered him as the husband of  little sis... who happened to be my colleague for 2 years! I simply adore the dressing / style sense of her.... however too much of dieting makes her look like a skeleton these days.... at least me and her mother think so.... so you see relationship and business do not come together.... she knows I buy more from Kolkata! Besides an ilish, I got loti / taro stolons to cook with dried Bombay duck / "loitta shutki or hudki".... those big sized prawns to express my love for the men and to change the pictures of my blogpost on masala prawns. Come on I bought few gold ornaments, I have to make up the guilt, haha! He is not bothered so long the wife spends from her own savings, she always ease the guilt of not earning a penny saying.... all for my daughter-in-law. So, prospective daughter-in-laws, be nice to me and get prepared to live with another most difficult person on the earth!... He... like his father will not sing and dance around the trees with you... he is a bit weird!You see I got those Indian / Kolkata kind of jhinge / ridge gourd after a long time and the "gondhoraj lebu" too! Those smaller but fresh "aar maach" / long whiskered cat fish comes from the neighbouring country.... I cooked it with "aloo tomato".... We are fond of "aar maach" and absolutely dislike the big sized, frozen supplies here.... Kolkata never sells such small sized "aar".... lets eat it here and wait for a December visit at the Baguiati bazaar... I just cannot fancy stale, river fish supplies here except for the ilish. The tiny heads of the cat fish were cooked with ridge gourd & egg plant! You guessed it right.... it was "bhanga chora shukto".... The hilsa head was cooked with moong dal... the pointed gourds with potato because my "aloo potoler dalna" post had to have upgraded photographs. I stopped cooking 10-12 dishes on Saturdays.... I get tired. Well, there was a chicken dish too which I wish to blog on! By the way, I see a couple of Bengalis use the hilsa tail in curries.... refrain from that if you may! The hilsa tail tastes best while deep fried! I reserve it for me... can you see? Then at night... I went downstairs.... the entire neighbourhood got suspected .... what is that heavy object being thrown in the water? After that, the  shameless had to order pizza, we do it if we are not going out on a Saturday evening.... however full is the refrigerator! "prithibi khadyomoy hok".... I admit that I am a hypocrite-"democrat cum liberal marxist".....

UCCHE CHINGRI is not something my men or the junior's "mamujaan" will eat! The "mamujaan's" mother loves it and learnt it from her mother. My maternal grandparents shifted to India before the partition. The maternal grandfather was a SBI employee, the grandmother learnt a lot of cooking in the present land never giving away that of her roots. Her side of the family migrated and settled in the "edeshio" hotbed Bardwan.... yet maintained and practiced the food of their land as told by the grandma! I do not believe in this demarcation... yet loved to listen. I last visited Burdwan while at college and saw an entire neighbourhood is inhabited by the family branch from the grandmother's side .... with all the family heads being a SBI employee! The grandfather obviously would not agree to handover the grand daughter to a mariner.... he told that at this home daughters go to SBI / UBI /RBI employee grooms only.... The grand daughter was clever... she knew the mariner fetches her "Poison, Elizabeth Arden, Christian Dior, Clarins to Swatch and Swarovski".... "yeh admi ko chorne ka nehi".... That they do not come my way anymore and I have to remain happy with Revlon / Maybelline is a different story, haha! Leave the joke, end of the day we are the working class! Anyway, I cannot rave much about Burdwan... the family ties got loosened, or was never so strong .... but I cannot forget the taste of "mihidana-sitabhog".... can I ever blog on them? You know our mother.... she will not go beyond "Belurmath", "Dakshineshwar", Shyambazaar, New Market, her kids, two sisters, three brothers, mother, two brothers of our father who live in Assam and her home. It was the father who visited occasionally the mom's relatives in Burdwan and his own in Assam & Tripura.... Yes, very few in this world has a pure heart like our father... Leave the past, the "mamujaan" and his nephew bond over car games and meat, so long they get the supply of both undisturbed, they should not have a problem with an UCCHE CHINGRI! This prawns cooked with bitter gourd is a very healthy recipe, there is no spice powders or much of oil required! The mother perhaps steam the prawns too before lightly frying, I skipped.... the lazy cook lightly boiled the bitter gourd in the microwave. Though I named it UCCHE CHINGRI, we use "korola" here, hardly get small sized "ucchey".... This not at all exotic dish can be an entrant to any of your rice meal.

My "ALOO POTOLER DALNA" and "MASALA PRAWNS" blogposts got up dated with new pictures. Just click the below links for the full recipes!


Bitter Gourd : 4-5 medium sized [karela / korola]
Small Sized Prawn : 150-200gm [jhinga / chingri]
Fenugreek Seed : 1/4tsp
Dry Red Chilli : 1
Green Chilli : 2 [slitted]
Turmeric Powder : 1/2tsp + 1/4tsp
Salt : As Required
Oil : 1tbsp [I always use mustard]


Cut the two ends of each of the bitter gourds. Cut half each. I usually throw the seeds, bitter gourd was not a natural love since birth... You can keep the seeds. Cut widthwise into not so thick nor thin slices. They will look like a half moon. 

Wash the bitter gourd slices and apply little salt to them. Rub well and add to a microwave proof bowl. Fill with 2 coffee mugs of water. Microwave at high for 3-4 minutes. You can do this part in gas top too.

Strain the water from the bitter gourd pieces.

Clean, de shell the prawns, wash thoroughly under running water. Rub with 1/2 tsp turmeric powder & little salt.

Heat oil in a wok and lightly fry the prawns. Authentically, they are lightly steamed or boiled too in water.

Take the lightly fried prawns out of the wok and reserve for later use. Temper the same oil with fenugreek seeds & a dry red chilli.

Add the lightly boiled bitter gourds, add the rest of the turmeric powder and salt as required.

Mix well and cover cook at low heat for 3-4 minutes. Open cover and stir every minute. The bitter gourd pieces should not burn.

Open cover and add the slitted green chillies and the marinated prawns.

Fold in well. Cover cook for another 3-4 minutes. We are done.

Enjoy with piping hot steamed rice. We also had some minced meat and potato curry alongside on that particular day.

Thursday, 13 September 2018


Life goes through a rough patch during this period every year.... ask me why? It is particularly during this period that mango and hilsa get scarce in the market or not seen at all. A two months of void is created in few lives, me been one..... haha! Definitely we do not get the best quality Hilsa here, I hear better quality of Bengali raw materials are supplied to the Asian shops in Europe and the "bahargaon".... I did not find shad to be a near alternative to Hilsa, decided not to have it anytime soon. Prawns, Salmon, Snappers seem better to consume, men are happy... that gives me pleasure! I have come to a settlement.... on days when I cook the men's favourite pomfret with lots of garlic, onion and tomato, I would get a fresh smaller sized Rohu from the Indian wet market on a Saturday morning and cook fresh a "maacher tetul tok" or I do not mind a pure vegetarian fair if the veggies are raw jackfruit, banana flower blossom, eggplant, potato, yam and the choice is yet more! Else I will cook mixed veggies with bits of dried fish when I do a chicken curry to see happy faces around! Food  preference is not a big issue that cannot be solved, people live together with unmatched souls for life. A precious note to them.... if you believe in the almighty... know that he does not believe in tying the knot between matched partners... may be there is no thrill in that.... like poles have possibilities to repel! Life is a game of gymnastics... the more you balance, more successful is your relationship.... you must learn the art of detecting your own faults instead of accusing your partner... no one is perfect in this world. Whoever tries to complain me on this matter, I never entertain, will not.... one cannot be flawless.... I have no interest in knowing what goes in at people's home.... I have to prepare these MASALA NIMKI for the family and for my readers. The silly nut in me has to have these oats cookies with loads of sugar with her sugar free tea / coffee! She realised just few minutes back that oats is best eaten as a main and not in a biscuit, she calls Cristine and asks her to take the remaining cookies for her friends on Sunday! I had never been a sweet tooth kind of a person, I do not know why I started having them once diagnosed with diabetes.... so I had to have a bowlful of "chirey bhaja" for a sizzling sensation in the tongue. The western world is a friend when it comes to "cakes and desserts".... After a brisk walk I would have a ".... flurry" or "strawberry sunday".... getting all my sweat drowned in the swimming pool, then cry as to why I cannot get an inch lost from the waist and arms. I try to be happy watching my homegrown orchids swimming around! I do not like tearing them but has to at times. Then I get lost in thoughts that makes me happy.... I own my soul and I do not allow anyone to dictate it. In between preparing this yummy, Indian deep fried snacks does happen.... I love my family!

I call this savoury snack MASALA NIMKI and not "moshola nimki" because an authentic Bengali nimki recipe will not have ground spices in them. I already have the recipe of the basic Bengali nimki recipe up on blog, I tried this one with roasted, ground spices. So, MASALA NIMKI does not remain purely Bengali in essence but becomes INDIAN.... which the world too can enjoy discarding the readymade packets of chips and snacks. I will definitely not call homemade deep fried snacks as healthy but you are using fresh ingredients... good quality ghee, refined flour, freshly ground spices. We are not having it on a regular basis, so do not feel guilty to have it once in two months. It does take some time to prepare this soul satisfying savoury snacks at home! What we get at the end is an aromatic and yummy teatime snacks. Lightly fry some curry leaves and add to the container of MASALA NIMKI .... and the flavour is awesome! While doing it do not forget to sing along "dhadkan  jara ruk gayi hai, kahi zindegi bah rahi hai".... this song has two of a couple of favourite Mumbaites in it.... Suresh Wadkar... I loved / still love maximum of his numbers... and Madam M.... her million dollar smile still rules over me.... I strongly believe that not even 1/10th of her acting prowess was explored during her reign.... she was underused in all the wrong films... of the very few "good" movies she did, the movie which has this song is one. Do watch it while enjoying this lip smacking snacks with your favourite style of tea / coffee! Its a very dear college friend's birthday today, she will enjoy this platter I know, if not her country of stay! Eager to meet the old pals come December. Last met a Nupur Datta at age 26-27, now her son is doing his 1st year of Engineering at Chennai... time flies truly!

For the very authentic Bengali Nimki recipe, click the link below...





Dry roast all the spices and the dry red chillies on a pan for a minute. Transfer to a bowl. Once cool, dry grind them. I think I have roasted a little more this time, so be careful.

Take the flour, baking soda, salt, spice powder, ghee in a wide mouthed big bowl. 

Fold in and keep rubbing for 2-3 minutes.

Add water little by little, keep kneading until a soft and smooth dough is formed. This will take some 10-12 minutes.

Cover the dough with a moist, clean piece of cloth for 15-20 minutes.

Open cover, knead the dough for another 2 minutes. Tear out portions in size of a lawn tennis ball and smoothen between your palms.

Dust your rolling base with refined flour. With help of the rolling pin, roll out round shaped parathas.

Take a butter knife and make slits lengthwise with a 1 or 2 inch gaps.

Cut each strips further into diamond shapes. You will do better shapes than me, I am very poor in fine artistry! Dust a plate and keep the nimkis in it. Newspapers are best for it.

Heat the oil in a wok. Fry the nimkis in batches till light brown. Never heat the oil to smoking point in this dish.

Transfer onto tissue papers. Cristine definitely helps me all through.

I tore some home grown curry leaves, fried lightly and added to the container.

Enjoy this crispy, savoury snacks with your evening tea / coffee!