Sunday, 10 December 2017


Where to start from and how to? Well I wished to go authentic Bengali today with ingredients known to majority of the people. In fact most of the time I wish to go Bengali, I am thinking of asking my friend Bianca what if I wish you and others with a baked roshogolla on xmas?... If you can prepare those "complex cakes".... why not a rassgulla.... which is no less complex to me but I still manage.... No sweet shops in the island come near to Kolkata roshogolla... better to do them at much they ditch me at times. Coming to that particular point why I at times stay away from promoting Bengali Cuisine.... ahh... some people keep on sending pictures of "macher alpona"... fish designs or of "patali gur"... date palm jaggery on whatsapp whenever I blog on some other cuisine ..... that disturbs me ..... I am not a kind of a person who can be forced to do anything .... free willed people perform the best when they are left to be at  themselves. No one can stop me from going Bengali today.... why? Yesterday night I came across a mind blowing post of four little girls ..... staying 50 km away from Kolkata .... going to Bengali medium school taking part in an English Drama competition held in New Delhi and grabs the 6th position in finals!.... wow... they were contesting with the prestigious city schools of the country! Their English teacher Sayantan .... happened to be a student of our friend Dr. Nishi Pulugurtha at the degree level.... his proud ma'am will definitely share it on her stream. Only kids of low-income groups go to such government schools these days ..... no, people who scream when I share a picture wearing a frock or share a baked recipe  do not send their kids to such schools but to the city convents. They go to Park Street restaurants to have a Turkey dinner on xmas but cannot stand a xmas tree as the background of my profile picture..... but I am that untamed horse who is not bothered by all these and live by her own set of rules.... courtesy, the ferociously independent thinker I am married to. Anyway, many of you I know do a lot of work and contribute to the cause of the needy and do not sit idle at home like me and give big talks. Even this lady tries to do her bit sitting at home. The miser me too waste money buying clothes and utensils which later  I do not wish to use. I do not stuff my wardrobe and cupboard with them but give it to our Cristine, she stores them in a packing box and courier to her home. We can do our little bit sitting at home too.... I follow a couple of NGOs working towards such causes, but I do not send money to their funds because I know some organisations do not make proper use of their funds.... Before I contribute, I must know about that NGO.... I do not wish to waste my husband's hard earned money. One  NGO I follow is "I-India-Giving Street Children a Future" based in Jaipur, Rajasthan. If you see any kind of child abuse around, you can call their toll-free number 1098, valid within India. Below is the box ready to be despatched and Cristine's ma'am has not filled it with her torn underwear. Charity indeed begins at home.... so many are waiting for your worn clothes... may you?

The air is getting heavy friends and readers! Before I dive into the heirloom, humble Bengali recipe from my side of the family DHONEPATA BATA DIYE MULO SHEEM ALOO CHINGRI, I must narrate a hilarious incident that occured day before yesterday. I mentioned about one or two notorious guys who disturbed my peace of mind years back so much so that the mother had to guard me in and out of the neighbourhood for a couple of years. One rascal followed me to the school gate or on way back home. Our daddy was miser in some areas and never thought of renting another house until he built his own dream home some 25 km away from Kolkata and declared.....  I want to spend my retired life peacefully amidst greens.... Off course all the responsibilities of his home and garden had to be borne solely by our mother while he was busy with his club and its charitable activities. Theirs was a story of a fun loving, friendly, extremely warmhearted husband and a cold, too very hardworking, family oriented wife.... even my "parabyarani" mashimoni says "your mother had been a total bore always, you know".... haha. Anyway, my readers noticed I called those notorious boys "stray dogs." That was in the morning, few hours later around 6:30 pm, I was in the gym on my stationary bike.... Suddenly this thought popped up.... why should I bad mouth referring an innocent animal. A sense of fear engulfed me, what if any member of PETA reads it? I jumped out of the machine, ran back to the home before a PETA representative could take an earliest flight to the island and book me.... Keeping pets is almost a norm in this island too... people here are bhindi lovers but how much of kurkurey bhindi I do not know, so fear of an attack by them was less.... haha. Then I have my couple friends from college Joydip & Suchandra Kundu who are associated with the "Tiger Bachao" project back in India, they are a major part of "Sher". Joydip can still be a terror if you demean poor animals, but I support and like them because they do support a noble cause and fund towards the cause of spreading education in the backward Sundarban area. He is a film actor too.... this very dear friend was a naughty boy at college, can dedicate his life entirely to such causes because he perhaps never had to earn his bread, his family owned four petrol pumps in the Hathibagan area in the early 90's.... but we can always do our bit to support them. Our Ipsita & Soumya had adopted a stray dog... Kaizu... He is old and sick.... Our friends are going to Kolkata and Cristine has to take care of Kaizu.... so I had to edit and term those notorious boys as "rascals."Jokes apart, My family indeed had a pet, Jenny... she was a mixed breed gifted by a neighbourhood aunty when we were leaving Kolkata way back in 1995. Below is our Jen sitting on my then gorgeous mother's lap... beside was our Pa who loved wearing a variety of watches. At the back were standing their two kids.... clicked 18 years back. Jenny died early when seven and half years old for our ignorance, making her an aficionado of mutton and dried fish when she was prescribed yogurt & rice by the vet and for missing one of her vaccine in time. The brother got so emotionally drained that we never had one again , he developed asthma too from her fur ... the doctor said no too....

Many of such things are shrouding my mind and makes me firm on sharing a recipe of my side of the family today. Both my mother and grandmother says that DHONEPATA BATA DIYE MULO SHEEM ALOO CHINGRI is a recipe from Comilla... now in Bangladesh.... it is what they have known from the family itself.... better informed people can always disagree. I loved anything with fresh coriander paste during winters at age 6 and now too.... specially fresh water fish curries. DHONEPATA BATA DIYE MULO SHEEM ALOO CHINGRI is a winter regular dish in our family done with even smaller shrimps, fresh coriander paste, green chilli paste, broad beans, radish and potato with skin on.... see I lessened your work load.... Absolutely no garlic, ginger, onion or any exotic spice is required in this dish... we will cook with all fresh ingredients, covered and at lowest heat. Do not expect stepwise pictures of my Saturday cooking.... This messy woman is totally messed up on Saturdays.... starting at morning till the afternoon.

Radish : 2medium... the island standard or 5-6 small, red Indian variety
Broad Bean : 7-8
Potato : 1big
Shrimp : 350gm
Fresh Coriander Leaves Paste : 11/2medium cup
Green Chilli Paste : 11/2tbsp [adjust as per your taste]
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 1tsp
Nigella Seed : 1/2tsp
Dry Red Chilli : 2halved
Bayleaf : 1
Salt : As Required
Oil : 2tbsp [ authentically mustard]


We will not peel the skin of potatoes in this recipe, wash it thoroughly and cut into cubes. Peel, wash and cut each radish into four parts if medium or big. Then make thin slices. Wash the broad beans, discard two ends, make 5-6 pieces from each. Take all the vegetables together and marinate with salt and turmeric powder.

Wash and de shell the shrimps. Wash thoroughly again 3-4 times under the running water. Rub salt and turmeric.

Heat oil in a wok, lightly fry the shrimps, take out and reserve to be added later. Temper the remaining oil with nigella seeds, a bay leaf and halved dry red chillies.

Add the marinated vegetables along with the marinade. Fold in well and cover. We will cover cook the entire period at the lowest heat till the vegetable are soft.

After about 8-10 minutes, open cover and add the red chilli powder and little salt if required. Fold in well and cover again.

After 5-6 minutes, the content in the wok gets semi-dry, it is then we will uncover and add the lightly fried shrimps, the fresh coriander paste and the chilli paste. We will stir for 2-3 minutes and take down.

Authentically we enjoy this dish DHONEPATA BATA DIYE MULO SHEEM ALOO CHINGRI with nothing but plain white rice, you can try with some chapatis too!