Saturday, 23 September 2017


Our week long celebration started with the kind of food that makes my boys ..... specially the junior.... happy..... some dry kind of sides and meaty dishes with bhaat bhaja.... rice fried with any thing makes rice acceptable to them. I have become kind of "let go... what can be done?"..... There is a Bengali in essence or essentially so mother at this home who is ready to serve a 3-5 course typical Bengali meal to her family from shaak..... shukto to rui / katlar jhol.... but there is a son who chooses salmon over ilish ..... chicken / mutton over dim bhora khal-biler koi. Off course it hurts me but as a mother / wife you will always want to see your family happy, at the dining table too. If you are like me you will take a midway and will not do away with 'desi khana' entirely and cook something like MACHER PUR BHORA MOSHOLA DIM. I will not stop cooking ilish / hilsa either and be in a happy conversation as this " Rehman bhai.... Ganga / Padma r ilish aaise ni... toi ekta dyan.... Burma r ilish gosaiben na amarey... ilisher namey kolonko ogulan"..... and this mother will sit and de bone ilish for her 15 year old son with the hope that some day he will adapt to the taste of it. There is less reason to be sad when the kid of your neighbourhood friend do lap up all the rice with the mulo chechki or pui chocchori you have sent with love.... that is hope enough to know that generation next may not forget the roots.... the son eats four rasgullas at one go at least. It is perhaps the failure of the mother of this house not been able to make her son continue with reading and writing in Bengali.... a punch of "Ghanada".... "Feluda".... and religiously "Upendra Kishore" would have set him on the right track.... Unfortunately they are all breathing feebly in a locked, dark room back in Kolkata. This time of the year, our biggest attraction were the "pujo barshiki"..... our newspaper dealer Bhola Kaku got them on the first day of publication. However, while taking a lazy stroll at the by lanes of College Street on my last visit to Kolkata with our friend Joy Ghosh.... he said they do not remain as attractive as before..... this guy is one of the species who spends 80% of his limited resources buying books and so I have to believe him. However poor I am in science or say in academics, Professor Shanku was an all time favourite. My friend Swati does reserve them for me though.

I do not cook at all on the four main days of Durga Puja.... I do not stay at home either. Mornings I will visit the Ramakrishna Mission and evenings are spent at the puja venues followed by eating out with friends. So next few days will be some kind of cooking that we love as a family. There could have been a Bengali style dimer devil but I had some boneless fish resting in the freezer and I had to use it.... there will not be much shopping for the kitchen this week, just using up the remaining..... so there was this last night.... MACHER PUR BHORA MOSHOLA DIM served with some meatball ghee rice done with minced chicken, the recipe of which will be shared later. The recipe of this fish stuffed egg whites is super easy and yes, loaded with spices. As I happily cook it in my temple called the kitchen, I indulge in an imaginary conversation with an elder cousin whose daughter got relocated to the West recently. I can feel the father who have not studied beyond school, a majority of my extended family have not tasted even a college life but brought up their kids beautifully.... I love it.... On both sides of our family, we are perhaps the first generation who got to see "bahar gaon".. "foren"..... I was wondering what he must be thinking.... " Mezda.... oto bhaibyo na... hai shob paibo Bangali mass-torkari.... shun bon hyaira ki khai ri? ogo dyashe moshola khai na.... moshla sara zhul randhey ... orey koi soup... dimer debbil randhe ogo moto koira... shiddo kushum tarey maikha piper modhya dhukaiya dimer shadai bhoira khai.... moshola nai, bhazeo na amago moto.... he asks... tui khaisot ni itan? Khaisi... barite randhi na... lanka tipya bhaat na khailey amar pyato bish lagey.... arey oto bhaibyo na amago dyasher koto manush thakey....amagor moto bhaat, rutir h-utel er abhab nai.... ami zei dyasho thaki moza paiba.... kamraranga, batabi lebu, kot bel o paoya zai.... bhabtey partaso? ooi dyasheo paoa zai hoyto... zigai nai bondhugo"..... I really cannot translate this conversation.... if there is any expat like me who are always charged / overloaded with nostalgia besides enjoying all the fruits of living in a developed nation.... they will understand by themselves, they will feel what I mean. Eggs are too much of a love for my husband who had even 3-4 a day once.... for me egg is good when there is a duck egg curry with rice or a paratha. All of us loved the spicy minced fish filling on it though and we will do it together with help of few pictures. The yolk can be refrigerated and later used in a salad... what do you say? The left over fish filling is kept for some fish kachori... who can stop me from gaining 4kg weight in the next week?

Egg : 4-6 [boiled and halved]
Boneless Fish : 250-300gm
Onion : 1 medium [chopped] 
Green Chilli : 2-3 [chopped]
Coriander Leaves : 2-3tbsp [chopped]
Cumin Seeds : 1/4tsp
Asafoetida : 2pinches
Cumin Powder : 1/3tsp
Coriander Powder : 1/2tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 1tsp
Cinnamon Powder : 1/4tsp
Cardamom Powder : 1/4tsp
Aamchur Powder : 1/4tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Lemon Juice : 4-5 tbsp
Refined Flour : 1tbsp [optional]
Minced Garlic : 1tbsp
Minced Ginger : 1tsp
Salt : As Required
Oil : 1/2 medium cup

Boil the eggs... Once cool, de shell and wash under cold water. Half them and take out the yolk. We will use them later in another dish.

Marinate the boiled egg whites with salt, little of cumin, coriander, red chilli, turmeric powders, a  tbsp of lemon juice and the aamchur powder. Keep aside for 1/2 an hour.

After 1/2 an hour we will deep fry them till golden brown and crisp.

We will rest them on tissue papers and set to prepare the fish filling. We have already washed the cubed fish pieces and marinated them with salt, turmeric powder and 2tbsp lemon juice.

We will heat 2tbsp oil in a wok or a pan. Temper oil with cumin seeds and asafoetida. Add the minced garlic and ginger, chopped onion and green chillies.

Once the onion turn brown, add the fish with the marination, cumin, coriander, turmeric, red chilli powders too.

Fold in well, cover cook for about 8-10 minutes.

Open cover, add the cinnamon and cardamom powder, chopped coriander leaves to the wok.

Fold in well and cook for 1-2 minutes, uncovered. Add the refined flour.

Fold in well and cook for a minute or so, our filling is done.

Once cold, we will fill the pockets of the boiled and fried egg whites with the mouthwatering, spicy, aromatic fish filling.

Arrange them well in a serving plate and we enjoyed them with some minced chicken meatball rice and salad. Our Durga Puja celebration starts with a bang.