Sunday, 5 November 2017


Ahh... another Sunday morning.... no hurry and only merry... a refrigerator full of cooked food yet feels like going out for lunch .... either to the Arab Street joints or to Fish&Co. or to Sushi Tei or to one of the numerous restaurants serving the best Local Cuisine. No I do not have Biryani in any restaurants here ... they cannot make it ... what they serve is a dry meat curry with rice. It can also happen that I still do not know the address of the right places for a proper Biryani. I remember when I landed for the first time here, I was missing Kolkata food.... not home cooked ones though ... I do them pretty well. I heard people raving about a very popular Biryani joint here.... My eyes sparked and went there  with the senior..... what a let down! a messy surrounding, smelly mutton chunks on a bed of rice which was far from been long.... after that I never went back near it. I do not want to take the name of the shop but told the senior it is the lazy cooks who recommended the place, they cannot be food connoisseurs.  I do it my way with freshly ground spices, good quality ghee, Basmati rice.... marinating the mutton overnight and slow cooking it for two hours.... saying so I do not want to go into any fights with people doing otherwise.... arguments are healthy but I personally dislike it. As of mutton... I miss that juicy, fatty chunks as in Kolkata... haha .... neither do we get the giant crabs in Kolkata .... Our brother like childhood buddy from Gurgaon Sandip called me on my birthday and said yaar, I miss those giant chilli crabs we had sitting by the sea. I do not prepare Biryani like Arsalan or Royal in Kolkata, but if you are in the island you can visit our home for it or have a little better version at one of my dearest Sanak's home. We had it at their place last Friday but it lacked his touch... their help from Myanmar did it on his instruction... it was good as much as the little girl could do. You see, good cooking is how you hold the ladle and with what amount of love. Ohh, his beautiful wife Nibedita, the ace Kathak dancer prepared a frozen mango-yogurt dessert which was the show stealer. I am telling this from the bottom of my heart and also from a fear... if I do not she may go up with a profile picture on a swim suit tomorrow... haha.... I told her 1001times, the world mirror says you are beautiful and you do not need to upload photographs on social media everyday. May be I miss the fact that she is in the entertainment world and needs to.This girl is easily gullible and yes... many take full advantage of that. Where do I bond with her husband? .... when we both say... if you have so much of quality... why do you need to be so silly to give in to the stupidity of others... who are using you and will throw you into the dustbin in their own good time. As of my man, he is always throwing me out of the 10th floor window. I am still alive because I have to share this heirloom recipe from the Bengal Kitchen..... CHOTO CHINGRI KUMRO ALOO BORBOTI DIYE BATI CHOCCHORI ..... You see I clicked the morning sky sitting on my favourite couch .... ohh it is a necessity for me if 24/7 something like CNN / CNBC / NDTV is ought to damage my earbuds.

I try to seek his attention.... prompt answer is do not disturb now.... I get a little bolder .... I sing "Dil Ne Yeh Kaha Hai Dil Se".... immediate answer is.... if you wish to go for shopping, go alone ... I am into an important thing or I am waiting for an urgent call from ship. The son who once did not even allow his father to sit beside his mother will not even interfere. How do I keep my cool? ..... with cups of black coffee and tea  and some fresh bakes.... haha.... I indeed do them.... may be not as confidently as I do a CHOTO CHINGRI KUMRO ALOO BORBOTI DIYE BATI CHOCCHORI.

I wished to share this recipe today which has a rural, traditional Indian touch and Bengali in essence for a reason. I cooked this yesterday morning and was not sure whether to share it with you all today. It was yesterday night I decided to watch a movie.... while searching, I discovered I am yet to watch my favourite Nagesh Kukunoor's Lakshmi.... trust me I could not watch the movie full.... it was late night, my nocturnal man was sleeping somehow.... I was feeling sick..... such a raw and real depiction of the prevalent issue of child trafficking in India and her neighbours... I do not know about the rest. The ordeal of this rural girl of 14 made me think and rethink.... do we have the right to have a life we are enjoying so much?... why majority of us are so unaffected about our surroundings.... Till this date.... I have made no contribution to the mother earth but I have always wished to in my own small ways. Anytime is a good time to start a good work but I am that commoner who things big, does little. However, I wish to be with such organisations after son's 12th examinations..... who are working towards and for the emancipation of girls like Lakshmi who like many are brought to the slaughter houses at a tender age and tortured for life... each hour of the night. You see that "after son's 12th"... says it all about me... am I selfish?or may be too family oriented. Anyways, it takes a lot of mental preparation to enter society decided forbidden zones for weak hearts like me.... The first step towards it is to be able to complete watching the movie... Lakshmi.... which has torn me apart as did Chandni Bar years back... You have to accept the truths of life.... however tough it is.... I have left the movie as it is in a separate window and gathering the courage.... can I? can you ?.... then go to Youtube and type Lakshmi or search Google for an introduction. At some point, I must come back to what I am meant for, in this case it is food... a Bengali dish ....CHOTO CHINGRI KUMRO ALOO BORBOTI DIYE BATI CHOCCHORI..... I am so eager to share with you all.... Bati Chocchori is a way of cooking a dish wherein we marinate the vegetables with or without shrimps or other small fish variety with salt, turmeric powder, slitted green chillies and a generous amount of mustard oil and let it slow cook at low heat in its own juices. I lack or avoid details on my food shares because I do not do research.... I follow as is done in the family or in the surrounding. I made a bit of modification, I used little of cumin and red chilli powders and kalonji / nigella seeds tempered mustard oil in it. The pumpkin pieces should stay "gota gota" even after cooking.... that is they should not get mushy in this method.... The pumpkins in this island are buttery, sweet and release a lot of water.... I may not have uncovered the wok in time... you will excuse me because this way, the taste is enhanced... trust me... I used shrimps, pumpkin, long beans, potato, onion for this Bengali dish called CHOTO CHINGRI KUMRO ALOO BORBOTI DIYE BATI CHOCCHORI .... you can add egg plants to it too.... We usually have fish dishes with rice varieties.... this is a vegetable based semi-dry dish... so should go with luchi / poori / paratha too.

Shrimp : 250-300gm [de shelled, washed, keep head or do not]
Pumpkin : 1/4 of a medium sized [peeled, cubed and washed]
Long Bean : 3-5 [throw the two ends and cut lengthwise]
Potato : 1big [peeled, washed, cubed]
Onion : 1big [peeled, washed, cubed] [it is not always used in this dish]
Cumin Powder : 1/2tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 1/2tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1/2tsp
Green Chilli : 3-4 [slitted]
Nigella Seed : 1/4tsp [kalongi]
Salt : As Required
Sugar : 1/2-1tsp
Oil : 2tbsp + 1tsp [authentically mustard]


Take the washed vegetables and shrimps in a big bowl.

Add the cumin powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, 2tbsp oil and salt to them and mix well. Leave them marinated for 15-20 minutes.

Heat a wok well and gently add the veggies and toss gently. Cover.

Meanwhile in another burner, heat 1tsp oil in a pan and temper with nigella seeds. Switch off. After 5-6 minutes, open cover of the wok where the bati chocchori is cooking, add the kalonji tempered oil and the slitted green chillies. Gently stir just once, do not cover.

After 3-5 minutes, we will see the water released has dried. We will add the sugar if using. Stir just once. It is done.

Transfer to a serving bowl, enjoy hot and fresh with piping hot plain rice or luchi / porota / poori.


  1. Its a riot of deliciousness. Wish I can tuck in.

    1. Thanks so much Navaneetham... a box full on your way...