Thursday, 13 April 2017


Just two days left for our New Year and I had to plan for something that suits the occasion.... I was unwilling to go pure Bengali as other states of India are also celebrating their New Year and it is Easter too. My first teacher was a Keralite Christian who I think was the best example of how a teacher should be. I have some paneer loving Punjabi friends whom I love. I myself is not so much of a chocolate lover but my family is, then I have made some beautiful friends from the western world who really mean to me. I have learnt to show integrated love to all from my sister like guardian Piyali Muttha, though I cannot put up a post as beautifully as she does. My Punjabi sister like Jolly Makkar of fame gave birth to a baby boy a month back, sweet is the natural choice for me today. Jolly had been the technical head for my blog. Mango is much loved in South Asia and South East Asia, Rasgulla or Roshogolla, the whole of India or may be few places in South Asia love..... and Chocolate is so universal. I remember the Cadbury advertisement 'kuch khas hai zindegi mai...'so much a love.

Coming to love, I decide who I do, who I do not and I do not wait for anyone's approval for that neither do I care for any legal stamp for that.... so long I do not bump into their personal life or privacy with my short, flat nose. In spite of a number of differences, I do love my virtual friends without whom the blog would not have survived. I love my real life friends who have contributed to my life in one way or the other, yet I do not allow any of my friends or family members to decide who I mingle with, who I do not. I am not in the habit of taking dictates from anyone. My indulgent senior gives me full freedom.... you know why? My not so much of a friend mother-in-law is arriving tomorrow... I did travel all the way to the Indian market to get what the diabetic old lady loves, the best saris in her wardrobe are my gifts, the two years I have worked in this island, it was me who gifted her and my mother gold neckpieces with my first month's salary... however meagre amount it was. Off course the son thing sacrificed his academics to get comfort for the family. When it comes to duty, my man does not have to bother. Though my brother's wife is much ahead who gifts my mom refrigerator too and still talks to me knowing I have stolen my mom's marriage day jewelry. I may not be in the same wavelength with my mom-in-law but she loves my son a lot. I am very much in touch with few old people whose wavelength matches mine and I do not hide it from the world.... do not ever make the mistake of caging a free spirited bird like me.

I will not go pure Bengali today for another reason. Since yesterday I see an array of posts showing off undaunted love for Bengal, I know very well at the first given chance they will choose a lucrative job offer in a developed country for their kids. I do not find any wrong there because it is a way to earn foreign currency for the country, earning to get a better quality bread for self and the family. I can be a silly wild untamed horse but I am unable to lend my shoulders to such 'Bengal Lovers' who cannot send their kids to a Bengali Medium School, they prefer Convents therein. I am actually that typical Bengali mother who did all possible mental torture on her four year old son to get him admitted to Don Bosco... Park Circus.... one of the high nose, top notch missionary schools of Kolkata in spite of divorce threat coming from the ship stationed at seashores. Off course my son did not get the admission for a number of reasons.... we did not stay within 5 km of the school, there was lottery system where 2500 applicants fought for 200 sits and finally my son's father did not have an IIT / IIM tag. My son's mother got bedridden and the father partied. Yet the trio are living together in an island where the mother goes out for her evening walk during her son's examination. You may well call me an 'anti- national' who do not qualify to be a Kolkata kind of Bengali mother anymore.

This Aam Kheerey Chocolate Roshogolla should go well with your tastebuds I hope....... a vegetarian dessert that will surely be loved by my vegetarian friends. Rest it is a fasting day for many of us, we offer prayers to Lord Shiva. I will pray for my kids and break fast in the evening. What is my dinner tonight?.... tapioca pearls soaked in water for hours, drained, mashed with mango, banana, milk, sugar and sweets... I prepare my grandmother's way yet it does not taste as hers.... her love is missing. She got sores in her legs keeping the little me on her lap... my mom was in college then. I did a lot of talking, come let us prepare the super cool, yummy sweet in few easy steps. There definitely will be an Easter recipe soon.

INGREDIENTS : [for the instant mango kheer / pudding]

Ripe Mango : 2-3 big
Condensed Milk : 1/2 small cup
Plain Yogurt : 2tbsp
Sugar : 2tsp
Green Cardamom Powder : 1/4tsp

INGREDIENTS : [for the paneer / cottage cheese]

Fresh Milk : 2lt [I find Meiji the best]
Lemon Juice : 1/2small cup
Ice Cubes : 1small cup

INGREDIENTS : [for the sugar syrup]

Sugar : 1coffee mug
Water : 4-5 coffee mugs
Green Cardamom : 3-4

INGREDIENTS : [for the roshogolla / rasgulla]

The Paneer we get
Semolina : 1tbsp
Chocolate Shaving : 1/2small cup


Let us prepare the instant mango kheer / pudding first. Get the pulp from the mangoes by washing them, peeling and discarding the seed. Take the pulp, condensed milk, plain yogurt, sugar and green cardamom powder in a blender.

Blend to a paste and pour into a serving bowl. Refrigerate it.

Take the milk in a vessel and bring to boil. As it boils, add the lemon juice. Switch off and add the ice cubes. It will curdle. Let cool.

Pass the paneer through a strainer. You can use the whey water later for making paneer again later or in curries.

Place the paneer in a piece of cloth, tie it on your kitchen counter tap.

Take down after 45 minutes and transfer to a plate.

Mash and knead for 6-8 minutes and add the semolina. Knead further for 7-8 minutes.

Get your chocolate shavings ready.

Tear out small portions, Make smooth balls with help of your palms.

Flatten them and fill with chocolate shavings. Close and smoothen to form balls.

Take sugar and water in a vessel and bring to boil. Boil for about 5 minutes, gently drop the chocolate filled cottage cheese balls in the boiling syrup.

Once done, they look like this.

Switch off. Once cold, take out the roshogollas from the syrup. Take out the mango kheer / aam pudding and arrange the rasgullas atop.

It is ready to be enjoyed with friends and family or you can chill further before enjoying this yummy vegetarian dessert.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017


The son 'thing' is at home having his session break and mumma is onto quick and innovative recipes for her loving son 'thingi.' When I use such 'not in any dictionary' kind of words like 'thingi', I am really not imitating  anyone..... my son indeed used such words when he was this small. Such words in fact takes me back to those golden days when my boy was this small, for whom mamma meant the world. I had such a busy schedule then that only women whose men stay away from home for long periods will only understand. Waking up at 4 am, people always saw me on the road with my little boy... in the market, at school and in men's salon too. The son would only have a hair cut sitting on his mother's lap.... and how embarrassing it was to sit on a men's salon in the Kolkata scenario then. Kolkata / India was not used to the unisex word some ten years back. I always love my own freedom and it was a conscious decision to stay alone.... and if I do so, I should not ask my father-in-law or father to come and help me with outdoor works.... that is unfair. If we love our freedom we must take the pain of paying the price. I payed and happily lived with my son.... in the process forgot to even comb my hair on some days. I must mention my family on both sides, my helps, my neighbours had been very supportive though the very self respecting me did not like asking for favour every now and then unless required. They used to scold me.... you are sitting alone with a sick child all through the night and did not even call us? I took pride in saying I will not do it unless required. I loved the tag they used for me.... superwoman. I have no qualms in going public with the fact I carried five plus five kilogram of rice bags on my hands till we owned a car. It is not so I could not afford a rickshaw... but I am always my parent's daughter. You will not find me in such camps who says ..... my wife and family will not ride anything else but cars. Such talks pisses me off because I have seen my father taking local buses and trains to office..... who rode his son's bicycle to the market even when he was a branch head of a nationalised bank of India. There is nothing wrong in upgrading ourselves, wrong is when we stop taking pride in our roots and try to hide or refuse them. It was this daddy who gave me the first lesson on Socialism. I do not wish to discuss much on it as its birth place funds rogues now.

Then and now... there is a sea change. I am seriously looking for a cockroach supplier in the island, only then the junior comes and jumps on mamma's lap, mumma takes full advantage of hugging and kissing him. He definitely will not understand that mumma is nearing menopause, her emotional needs are to be taken care of. This morning, I told my man can you drop the idea of going to office today, I feel kind of emotionally drained. He complied... why not.... he happened to be my best friend at school. A piece of suggestion  for you all.... if you are planning to marry your best friend... you must remember he / she ceases to be your best friend.... remains a good friend though. You cannot pour in your entire heart anymore as you need to take care of their emotional needs too. He is sitting beside me and watching CNN and I am listening to some old hindi classics.... no fight but peaceful coexistence. I am happy that he is there. The very homely me is not so comfortable in an all girls party though I love my friends who are into it.... people should not be as unsocial as me. When I call my girlfriends at home to chat over some tea / coffee, I call in small groups and enjoy that way. Rest, its cooking, reading and music that keeps me going.

These mango and malai / mawa toasts were done for son's breakfast yesterday. Though my men are 'kheema toast' kind of people, I always try to bring variety in their food. This was instant and done within an hour. I myself is on a 'bare carb' kind of diet for few days and tasted tearing a small portion from the corner. I loved it and I thing you all will love, specially when your kids prepare it for you. Ever since I learnt the recipe of instant malai / mawa from a you tube video, I use it on a regular basis. The pumpkin seeds are bought as a part of my tryst with healthy snacking. Saffron is something my mother never used not because she did not wish to but its price was beyond our reach. I love its colour and its mild flavour, and use it as a miser. Let us prepare this super simple recipe of Instant Malai Mango Toast with a pumpkin seed and saffron topping or with a topping of your choice.


Bread Slices : 4
Mango : 1big and ripe one
Milk Powder : 2tbsp
Full Cream Milk : 1/2medium cup
Ghee : 1/4small cup [clarified butter]
Green Cardamom Powder : 1/4tsp
Sugar : 2tsp
Chopped Nuts : I used some finely chopped pistachios [optional]
Few Saffron strands and Pumpkin Seeds to garnish.


Prepare the instant mawa adding the milk powder, full cream milk and ghee together first.

Microwave at low for 21/2 to 3 minutes stirring every 30 seconds. It is done.

Wash, peel and get the pulp of the mango and blend to it to a paste.

Add the now cold malai / mawa, sugar, green cardamom powder, chopped pistachios to it and stir well. Chill for half an hour before using.

Place the bread slices on your grill tool.... I do not have a toaster. You can toast them to crisp.

I grilled them first for 21/2 minutes and then turned over and grilled for 11/2 minutes.

Now spread a thick layer of the mawa and mango paste mix evenly over the crisp toasts. I loved garnishing with pumpkin seeds and saffron strands, you can go ahead with your choice.

Saturday, 8 April 2017


This is off course a breakfast platter but we had this today for lunch.... and yes it is authentic Bengali. Mom used to prepare this particular mixed vegetable stir fry during winter when Kolkata markets were flooded with cauliflower, carrot, beetroot, green pea. I actually prepared Chicken Kasha [chicken dry curry] today. It goes well with homemade Indian or South Asian breads. I thought let me prepare this panchmeshali bhaja and serve my chopsticks a platter much loved by them. Can you see the achar / pickle alongside. Well, that is an instant chilli pickle I prepared to make the platter complete. I have taken its picture separately and will share the recipe in another post soon. Saturday morning to afternoon is extremely busy for me. If there is anything called cooking to heart's content, then I do that on Saturdays. By evening I am too tired. Yet I am always ready to go out if there is any party on weekend nights.... I love to unwind amidst / with friends and family with my favourite vodka  with lime. I am that quiet listener in any party who loves to get little topsy, carefree as it is weekend and because she has her tall, dark, moderately handsome chopstick to take care of her all through the party and all the way back home.

We are at home this evening, the chopsticks are having their afternoon nap. I thought let me share this dish of triangular / trikon porota / paratha served with a panchmeshali bhaja made of potato, cauliflower, beetroot, carrot and green pea. Tomorrow is Sunday, it can be your Sunday breakfast or brunch if you wish to. Moreover, I wish to keep my Sunday free for some workouts. Ever since, Priyanka Chopra has been declared the second most beautiful woman of the world, I am again into some kind of exercise. Trust me, I only had a small paratha today though I know Priyanka never has any. However we preach for... "Beauty is Skin Deep"..... at some point or the other we wish be like that...... and how much I rebuke some for not been so Bengali with their food habits, I always want to enquire about their likes, dislikes, preferences. In the journey called life, we may not keep up pace at same frequency with all who mean to us, yet we can keep them in heart in one way or the other. As I write this post, I am listening to some soft romantic hindi numbers. Do you know why I like Bollywood? It nourishes and feeds my dreams with all its unreal elements. In reality, your hero will not even cross a lane to hold you tight, forget about crossing a mountain. The film world takes me to the world of fantasy, I enjoy it as much as I enjoy cooking for my dear ones and sharing it with the world. As of now I am too excited to share this humble breakfast platter of Bengali style triangular paratha served with a non spicy stir fried mixed vegetable and lonkar achar [chilli pickle]. Come let us do them together.


Potato : 2big
Carrot : 2medium
Beetroot : 1medium
Cauliflower Floret : 2big cup
Green Pea : 1small cup
Green Chilli : 2slitted
Dry Red Chilli : 2halved
Nigella Seed : 1/4tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1/2tsp
Sugar : 1/2tsp
Salt : As Required
Oil : 2tsp [preferably mustard]


Wholewheat Flour : 3coffee mugs + 1/2small cup to dust
Salt : 2pinches
Water : As Required
Ghee[clarified butter] : 1tsp + 2tsp for each paratha [alternatively any oil except mustard]


Let us prepare the vegetable first. 

Peel, wash and cut the potatoes, carrot, beetroot into smaller pieces. Cut the cauliflower into smaller florets and wash thoroughly. Take all four of them together in a bowl and rub with some salt and turmeric. Keep aside for 10 minutes. Add little salt to the green peas taken in another bowl, mix well and keep aside.

Heat oil in a wok, temper with nigella seeds and halved dry red chillies. Add the cauliflower florets, potato, carrot, beetroot pieces discarding the marinade. Stir at high heat for a minute. Reduce heat and cover cook for 2 minutes. Open cover, stir and cook for 2 minutes. Add the slitted green chillies and green peas, sugar too. Fold in well and let cook for a minute. Transfer to a serving bowl.

We will prepare the parathas now.

Take the wheat flour, salt and 1tsp of ghee in a bowl. Rub well for 2 minutes. Add water little by little and keep kneading till we get a soft dough. Tear small portions from the dough and use your palms to form balls.

With help of rolling pin, roll out circles dusting with flour.

Fold to overlap as below.

Fold again to get the shape of a triangle.

Now with help of rolling pin, we will roll it bigger onto a paratha.

Heat pan on gas. I prepare 2 parathas together always. You can do one at a time. Cook each side for 1/2 a minute.

Now add 1tsp ghee for each side.

Transfer to a serving plate.

I served the paratha and the mixed vegetable platter alongside a Bengali style chilli achar / pickle which I wish to share in a separate post.

Always have such things fresh and hot. I hope I could contribute a little to your Sunday happiness.

Thursday, 6 April 2017


Rice is our staple and I personally love it too much. My men are not so fond of plain, steamed rice. They love it if I bring little change in them and fry it with whatever is available at home. Hence, I keep on experimenting on various kinds of fried rice... both vegetarian and non vegetarian. Rice may have high content of carbohydrates, yet it is required to some extent by our body. I do not believe in completely discarding rice from our diet. Instead we can lessen the amount of consumption. 

When we add a number of vegetables, mushrooms to rice, we really do not need any sides to go with it as such. A humble serving of plain yogurt or raita and a salad is just perfect alongside any kind of fried rice. This particular Lemon Coriander Rice is very soothing and refreshening during summers. I have drawn inspiration for this particular preparation from Add a Pinch Blog and did my own version giving it an Indian touch. Come let us do this easy recipe of Lemon Coriander Rice together.

INGREDIENTS : [for the lemon coriander rice]

Cooked Rice : 3-4 big cups
Lemon Juice : 1/4 medium cup
Chopped Coriander Leaves : 1 small cup
Chopped Green Chillies :2-3
Turmeric Powder : 1/2 tsp
Salt : As Required
Mustard Seed : 1/2tsp
Oil : 2-3 tbsp


Take out the refrigerated cooked rice 15 minutes before cooking. Heat oil in a pan. Temper with mustard seeds and add the turmeric powder and chopped green chillies. Stir at low heat once.

Add the rice and fold in well. Increase heat, add salt, lemon juice and chopped fresh coriander leaves. Fold in very well and keep stirring for a minute or two. It is done.

Enjoy it hot and fresh with yogurt, raita and salad.


Its a new morning and I am still alive. The scenario was little different last night. I got a fresh Rui / Bengal Carp this week and I had to cook it yesterday evening. There is nothing wrong in doing so.... what went wrong was the timing. IPL Tournament is starting, yesterday night was its inaugural programme.... and if Ravi Shastri is the comparer, fish bone has to stuck. I have a teen son, who is not so much of a Bengali though he has come out of my womb. The chicken-o-manic teen does like fish only when boneless pieces of fish are made into kebabs or an oriental dish of sweet and sour fish. So, when his typical Bengali mother prepares a fish curry the authentic Bengali way, she has to sit and remove all bones from the fish before serving him.The father shouts.... the mumma is spoiling her son. I know if I do not de bone it for him, he will not take a single bite. The mumma has serious doubts whether the son would choose a Bengali life partner or not. In future she might get such calls.... mumma... we had grilled fish on a bed of greens with a tartar dip. No wonder the mumma is spending sleepless nights thinking whom to give away her bundle of saris. Such nightmares does not stop her from buying them either. No point overthinking, not everyone will be like my beautiful friend Bianca Castafiore who lovingly does a red, hot prawn curry or at times kebabs just as perfect as another beautiful Saira Banu.

Coming to fish bones, I do not have any bone of contention with fish or mutton as any other "Bong-o-Lolona".... Bengali girl. I did prepare a very authentic Bengali fish curry yesterday to be shared later. So far 'the bone got stuck' is concerned, Ravi Shastri is to be blamed. He took me back to his Bombay Dyeing modelling days, we were teens then. A big piece of bone did stuck on my throat, if this happens to you? Do not worry, just gobble a table spoon of cooked rice and do not chew or drink water. However, these men steal all my attention.... from Ravi Shastri, Imran Khan, Wasim Akram to the blue eyed David Gower.... end of the day I do take care of  my men's likes and dislikes. Today I felt like sharing a combo dish of mixed herbed grilled fish served with lemon coriander rice, a 'no sweat in the kitchen' kind of dish my men loves. Though the salad part is for me to be shared with Cristine, I have stopped expecting my naughty chopsticks duo to have salads. The duo's 'we do not care anyone in the world' is a major reason of my sugar level treading upwards. We do not get everything as we wish to, there definitely are a number of unacceptable traits in me that the duo have accepted and they do not complain. So, I happily cook what they prefer alongside my preferred, authentic Bengali dishes. Come let us prepare the grilled fish and the lemon coriander rice together which takes an hour or so.

For the Lemon Coriander Rice, I have drawn inspiration from the Cilantro Rice recipe of Add a Pinch Blog and gave it an Indian touch.

INGREDIENTS : [for the lemon coriander rice]

Cooked Rice : 3-4 big cups
Lemon Juice : 1/4 medium cup
Chopped Coriander Leaves : 1 small cup
Chopped Green Chillies :2-3
Turmeric Powder : 1/2 tsp
Salt : As Required
Mustard Seed : 1/2tsp
Oil : 2-3 tbsp

INGREDIENTS : [for the mixed herbed grilled fish]

Fish Fillet : 4-6 pieces [any white firm fish will do]
Mixed Dried Herbs : 1tbsp [I use the Fun Food one]
Salt : As Required
Vinegar : 1tbsp
Butter : 2tbsp [melted]
Black Pepper Powder : 1tsp


Wash and marinate the fish fillets with the vinegar for half an hour. Through away the excess vinegar water. Marinate the fish again with salt, mixed dried herbs, black pepper powder and melted butter. Arrange them on a baking tray and place atop a grill tool. Pour the remaining marinade on top of the marinated fish fillets.

Since I do not have a griller, all my grills and bakes are done in the convection mode of my microwave.

I grilled one side for 12-14 minuted, flipped over and did the other side for 8-9 minutes. It was done.

Now we would prepare the Lemon Coriander Rice.

Take out the refrigerated cooked rice 15 minutes before cooking. Heat oil in a pan. Temper with mustard seeds and add the turmeric powder and chopped green chillies. Stir at low heat once.

Add the rice and fold in well. Increase heat, add salt, lemon juice and chopped fresh coriander leaves. Fold in very well and keep stirring for a minute or two. It is done.

Transfer to serving plates, arrange the mixed herbed grilled fish along with your preferred salad and enjoy hot and fresh!!

Tuesday, 4 April 2017


Is it a family recipe? Nah.... but it has a supremely nostalgic Kolkata connection. Both residential and non-residential Kolkatans with a sweet tooth loved this mixed fruit chutney in the Kolkata 'biyebaris'..... it was or may be still a part of marriage reception menu plan there. This food-o-phobic fat old lady loves it ever since she was this small. For a food maniac like me, the major attraction of any ceremonial functions was the menu card. Back then, in any gathering, the courtesy was to keep some leftovers on your plate before getting up. This little girl never did understand why we need to be so formal... that too when it comes to food. I am that kind who licks her finger till its squeaky clean. After marriage, girls are supposed to be very shy about eating.... at least for few months. Nothing as such happened with me, I ate everything served and continued with my usual habit of swiping the plate with my fingers and licking it. Sounds primitive right?.... haha.. I am so till date but I always have a good thing in offer.... accept me as I am if you can.... else leave. My not so much of a friend mom-in-law had always been very good to me when it came to food, not leaving any chance for me to accuse her of discrimination. They are coming in few days, I do not know what to cook for them as they have turned themselves into self-imposed 'vegetables' and survives on 'patla macher jhol'. That pisses me off... I say eat everything and go out for regular walks... stop sitting on the couch 24/7 and complain about indigestion. You will see me feeding them biryani with dum aloo, they will still be fine... you know why?.... they will be with their son and grandson... their two heartthrobs.

There was only one occasion when I did not wish to eat at all, may be some occasions you attend only to shower some love where food feature at the last or does not at all. Then someone said.... S.... eat to your heart's content... Oh yes... I will.... all for your happiness..... always. Before I feed you with another fake story overloaded with melodrama, I should concentrate on the recipe. I do not know why the Bollywood producers did not assign me as a script writer, I would have done justice. Coming back to track, last week I had quite a few number of fruits at home and a bowl full of left over sugar syrup from the rassgullas I made. I had guests to attend, so perfectly the right time to prepare some mixed fruit chutney to end the meal on a sweeter note. Chutney is a condiment, Bengalis usually serve it at the end of a meal that starts with either a shaak [stir fry spinach?] or shukto [mixed vegetable curry cooked in milk with less spices]. Different kind of chutneys are my weakness and the diabetic me still do have them. The best I could do to myself is I stopped doing it regularly, I do them when guests are due. Come let us do this superbly delicious Mixed Fruit Chutney with some assorted fruits like pineapple, green grapes, pomegranate, apple in less than half an hour.

INGREDIENTS :[for the chutney]
Grape : 10-12
Pineapple : 1medium cup [chopped]
Apple : 1small cup [chopped]
Pomegranate kernel : 1/2 small cup
Sugar : 1 small cup
Water : 1-11/2 big cup
Lemon Juice : 2 tbsp
Salt : 2-3pinches

INGREDIENTS : [ for the dry roasted ground spices]
Cumin Seed : 1tsp
Coriander Seed : 1tsp
Dry Red Chilli : 2-3

Cut half the grapes, peel and chop the pineapple. Chop the apple without peeling the skin, we know how good it is for our body. Get the pomegranate kernels discarding the skin.

Take all the fruits in a bowl and wash. Drain all excess water.

In a heavy bottomed vessel, take the sugar and water. Bring to boil and let boil for about 4-5 minutes. Add the lemon juice, give a stir. We can see dirt forming atop, discard them using the ladle. 

When the sugar syrup gets stickier, add the assorted fruits and the salt, give a stir. Let cook at low heat for a minute, switch off. Transfer to a bowl, let cook.

Dry roast all the spices together.... cumin seeds, coriander seeds and dry red chillies for about 1-2 minutes at low heat. Once cool, grind into a coarse powder, spread over the chutney, gently fold in.

Enjoy it chilled or at normal temperature as you wish. Please take note that the caterer's fruit chutneys are stickier but I prefer to keep it lighter. You should follow your wish.

Sunday, 2 April 2017


Last few days had been really busy, and its really so for people whose men have severe allergy  on even noticing whats going on in the home front. In such scenario, there is obviously not much romantic conversations that goes on in the house hold. It is rather otherwise.... Bossy.... this week can you go to the market or at least accompany me to the market?.... I always know the answer but I have to ask and hear the same old answer..... S.... I am really not in the mood to have any elaborate spread this week, we can manage with aloo sheddo, dal, omelette [mashed potato, dal, omelette] or khichuri & aloo bhaja [rice and lentil hotch potch with fried potatoes].... you need not go to the market this week, take rest. That there is a teen age boy at home, who needs a variety of food at different times of the day is not in his head.... he is so engrossed in candy crush or CNBC or CNN or a Sports Channel and off course our weekend marathon movies at Netflix or otherwise. Then there is my indulgent paa-in-law who would say it is all my fault as I have not let him do anything been choosy. That is true too, I cannot  accept another person standing in the kitchen, getting it messy using five bowls and three spoons while making an omelette. I am naughty too.... but naughtier him knows the wifey will not serve him potato and rice and will surely go to the market until she is down with fever. It is also true that he will not utter a word if I serve him a humble platter of rice, lentil and boiled potato. Won't you love to serve such people?... you definitely will...

There were some dear friends yesterday at home, off course I did not feed them this Barnyard Millet Khichuri and Kumro Aloo diye Lau Shaak. Besides the appetisers and other mains, I prepared mutton rezala and prawn curry. Cooking for family and guests is always a pleasure..... if there is one Avish Sengupta, who is a citizen of this island, yet a typical Bengali too and we have a common dream of opening a cosy, Bengali eatery in the island. His wife... the very bubbly, sweet but half-mad, sister like Roshmi hates cooking... but never is a miser when it comes to appreciating other people's effort. Who else was there? ..... well... a fabulous cook and the best mutton biryani maker in the town.... Sanak Chottopadhay.... a very good human being though not so good with his words at times. Why do I love him so much?... he is the one who cooked for my husband for more than six months long back in the 90's while they were staying in Mumbai preparing for their exams, motivated him to get where he is today, makes such public announcement that S is my second mother and does not allow any one to speak negative about me in his presence. If his beautiful wife Nibedita, who was attending another party yesterday reads this post by chance, you can see her updating an all bare profile picture by tonight to irritate me, haha it is nothing about good or bad.... may be I am still that primitive teen when someone said I do not come anywhere near the very happening Pricilla, teacher with a convent in the late 80's. I did come back home and ask my mother why she puts so much oil on my hair but the wild horse inside said be exactly what you are, wear what you are comfortable in.... so should my friends too. We need not like each other in all matters, we still can stay in love.

I keep my blog like me... that simple next door girl... easy to mingle. Sama Chal / Barnyard Millet / Swang Chawal is something I have seen my mother eating during her fasting days. For the little me, fasting days for my mother and grand mother were much awaited.... I got to eat.. 'Shabu Makha'... tapioca pearls soaked in water for hours, drained and mixed with milk, banana, mango and sandesh, all mashed together and served. I can smell my didu [maternal grandmom], sitting in this far off land.... I spent my entire childhood on her lap. I got a packet of barnyard millet and wished to see how it tastes if cooked with moong dal. We usually cook lau shaak / lauki or bottle gourd leaves with shrimps or poppy seed paste. I preferred doing it with pumpkin and potato without using any spice. If you are a veggie lover, you will like it. Whether on a fasting day or for a humble feast... this combination fits in. Sundays I do not cook much. Before I make some chapatis to serve them with yesterday's rezala, and pamper myself with some fruit chaat or any kind of chatpata.... I thought of sharing this combined recipe of Sama Chaler Khichuri and Kumro Aloo Diye Lau Shaak with you all. Come, let us prepare this all vegetarian dish together which is done within an hour.

INGREDIENTS : [ Sama Chaler Khichuri ]

Sama Chal / Barnyard Millet : 1 small cup
Moong Dal / Skinless Split Yellow Dal : 1/2 - 1/3 small cup
Cumin Seed : 1/4tsp
Ginger Paste : 1tsp
Cumin Powder : 1/2tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Dry Red Chilli : 2 [halved]
Bayleaf : 1
Green Chilli : 2 [slitted]
Sugar : 1tsp
Salt : As Required [alternatively rock salt]
Oil : 2tbsp

INGREDIENTS : [ Kumro Aloo Diye Lau Shaak ]

Lau Shaak / Bottle Gourd Leaves : A Bunch
Pumpkin : 1/4 of a small, ripe one
Potato : 1big
Nigella Seed / Kalonji : 1/4tsp
Bayleaf : 1
Dry Red Chilli : 2 [halved]
Green Chilli : 3-4 [slitted]
Sugar : 1/2tsp [optional]
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Salt : As Required [ alternatively rock salt]
Ghee / Clarified Butter : 2tsp
Oil : 2tbsp


Let us prepare the vegetable first.

The bottle gourd leaves with stem looks as below.

 We will roughly chop the leaves and cut the stem lengthwise, peeling off the thin outer layer and those ring. Wash thoroughly.

Discard the skin and inner layer of the pumpkin with seeds. Cut further into cubes. Peel, wash and cut the potato into cubes. Take both in separate bowls and rub with little salt and turmeric.

Heat oil in a wok. Temper with nigella seeds, bayleaf and halved red chillies. Add the potatoes first. Once they are half done, add the pumpkin pieces. Fold in well and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Add the bottle gourd leaves and stem and stir at high heat for a minute. Reduce heat, add slitted green chillies and let cook for about 4 minutes stirring in between. Add the sugar and little salt if required. Fold in well, we will take down once the water dries up yet not making it too dry.

Now we will do the Sama Chal and Moong Dal Khichuri / Khichdi.

Dry roast the yellow lentil, wash and pressure cook up to one whistle adding a big cup water, salt and little turmeric. Let cool.

Take the barnyard millet in a heavy bottomed vessel and wash 2-3 times. Add 1 1/2 big cup water. Put for boil adding some water.

It will take barely 3-4 minutes to be 80% done. Add the boiled lentils at this stage. Fold in well. Let cook at very low heat.

Heat oil in a pan. Temper with cumin seeds, bayleaf and halved dry red chillies. Add the ginger paste and fry for 2 minutes.

Add cumin powder, turmeric powder, salt. Fold in well and add the whole thing to the rice and dal mix. Add the sugar too. Fold in well. Garnish with a dollop of ghee.

Enjoy hot with the veggie !!