Tuesday, 30 January 2018


This spice paste is often used at this home for fish, vegetables or meat when may be I do not wish to exhibit my love affair with chillies ..... that happens only when the pantry runs out of it... there goes a shrill note to Cristine "kancha lanka furiye geche amai bolbi na sheta?".... totally forgetting Cristine is a Filipino... How do I remember?.... She now eats ilish mach to begun-pora to paratha to nimki.... However, this less spicy, little sweet KAJU KISHMISH TIL BATA DIYE FULKOPI works well when we need a shift from our usual "fulkopi-aloo r dalna"..... Anyhow, the senior says chillies and oil  comes for free at this home, the wife has an instant answer to this...... "ami oshob aluni ranna kortey parbo na, mach-tarkari jhaley nuney thik thaktey hobey." I gave the junior the same food that we had once he was three years old. His paediatrician used to say even kids do have a taste bud, do not deny them of that pleasure. I have seen some of my friends' madness ..... feeding their 8-10 year old kids soupy fish & meat curries.... Come on, Indian stomach / taste bud is not built for soups on a regular basis and vice versa. The reason I am so fond of Bianca Castafiore is that she prepares awesome kebabs and curries, makes the perfect dosas and she has Indian friends who send her snacks during Diwali.... She might be a little high nose but she respects our culture..... She is the one to be kept close by! Coming to this family, people are a bit weird.... the son was only three months old when the paa-in-law made him taste ice-cream, roshogolla when he was only six months. One should not go to that extreme either! The boy who had his meals starting with a "shaak" and ending with a "chutney" does not fancy either of the two anymore.... how come Olive Oyl's husband does not eat spinach? The son's love for Bengali cuisine is limited to all kinds of fries and fritters, dal, meat curries, fish curry's fish has to be boneless or a prawn.... his love for vegetables is limited to "begun, fulkopi and aloo."..... Mumma feels so limited in the kitchen! The entire bunch of "lau shaak" was eaten by this lady and Cristine! This is not the case at my friend Paramita Ghosal's home... she trained her daughter so well. Why did I take her name?.... because she is among the very few expats who kept her kitchen very authentic... at large! Our temperament do not match, but I respect some of her qualities... she definitely is qualitatively high.... handling the IG level students the entire day.... coming back home and cooking for the family!  The major defect you will find in this blogger at CURRY AND SPICE is that she is very rigid, her likes and dislikes are very strong.... The man of this house scolds me hard, perspectives differ wifey.... why are you so judgemental? My defence is.... I do not bother people either .... I enjoy my me time may be with a bowl of fruits of my choice with butter toasted paneer added to it or gazing at the small patch of green amidst the cringy skyscrapers we live in.

Yet, the husband has to worry... you sit at home... you do not mingle! Arey, I cannot... I feel very misfit amidst a crowd and useless talks that ranges anything from how unfaithful the helps are, how poor performer or ill behaved are other's kids compared to one's own, the worst been comparing the husbands' salary and position in the company, whether he drives a Mercedes or not, who lives in a condo and who in a HDB? .... Few bonds I do adore from a distance, rest I have doubts..... As of me? better I spread my wings and sing "panchi banu udti phiru mast gagan mein, aaj main azad hoon duniya ke chaman mein"..... Cooking.... thy passion goes on .... this time a KAJU KISHMISH TIL BATA DIYE FULKOPI.... served with a chana dal and curry patta tempered rice and there had to have some chicken for the people who would not touch the salad!

KAJU KISHMISH TIL BATA DIYE FULKOPI is not a regular Bengali dish but I have seen this variation when guests were due at home, if not always at our home. It is a dry curry little sweet and tangy as the gravy has raisins and yogurt in it, creamy with the use of cashew nuts and melon seeds. My men would not have asked for the chicken if there had been poori or porota by the side... they simply love.... They love rice when the lady gets giant tiger prawns for them. The miser lady obviously does not do it often, neither she will stress herself with forcing her impossible to train men to eat what they do not like. They never demand me to cook what they love, but I cannot take it when they eat 1/4 of what they might have eaten if the food had been of their choice. I never take it as their trick, they will eat a plate full of rice if served with boiled potatoes and eggs, dollops of ghee or butter, salt.... the lady will take a big green chilli with it. The husband ate it as breakfast all five days of his school, still weighing at 54kg. The almighty had been very unkind to this diabetic lady.... she has to be kind of shameless to find the earth worth living. The son is having one after another pre-board examinations and the mother is cooking! What else could I do? If someone does not listen to any of your words with full support from the father, you will live your own life.... do what you enjoy doing ! When all the mummas will have beautiful status updates with pride after six months, this mumma will cry behind the closed doors. The husband and wife are going for the movie Padmavat too today night, "gokuley boro hote thakuk ekti bador"..... I look around and see how sincere kids of his age are.... specially the girls.... I will not go further with it, as he already complained to his teachers that mumma does not trust him enough. Mumma wishes to keep aside all tensions and do what she loves doing.... sharing her kitchen tales with her readers. This is again a "fakibaji ranna" that this lady's mother will not approve, why? she made a paste taking every thing together and did not do much of "koshano."

Cauliflower : 1medium sized
Cashew Nut : 7-8
Raisin : 9-10
Onion : 1 medium [peel, wash, roughly chop]
Green Chilli Paste : 2
Dry Ginger Powder : 1/2tsp [optional}
Melon Seed : 1/2tsp[char mogoj]
White Sesame Seed : 11/2tsp [til]
Turmeric Powder : 2-3pinches
Salt : As Required
Plain Yogurt : 3tbsp
Cinnamon Stick : 2one inch stick
Green Cardamom : 2-3
Clove : 2-3
Bay Leaf : 1
Dry Red Chilli : 2
Ghee : 2tsp[clarified butter]
Oil : 11/2tbsp


Cut the cauliflower into medium sized florets, wash and take in a microwave proof bowl. Add 11/2 coffee mug of water and microwave at high for 5-6 minutes adding a little salt to it.

Let cool and then drain the water. Add little more salt, rub well and keep aside for 20 minutes or so.

Take the raisins, cashew nuts, chopped onion, green chillies, melon seeds, sesame seeds and plain yogurt in a grinder and grind to a smooth paste. Add little water if required.

Heat the oil in a wok and temper with the cinnamon sticks, green cardamoms, cloves, bay leaf and dry red chillies. I forgot to add the dry red chillies and did it later but you will not do the mistake as you are not heading towards dementia for sure.

Add the spice paste and keep stirring for 2-3 minutes. You will see that the oil separates from the spice mixture. Add the turmeric powder and dry ginger powder and stir for a while.

Add the boiled cauliflower florets and fold in well.

Stir gently for 2-3 minutes. Add a small cup of water to your grinder to mix the residual spice mixture... we call it 'bati dhoya jol'.... add that water to the wok and fold in well. Cover cook for 3-4 minutes. We are done.

Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with ghee. We enjoyed it with chana dal and curry leaves tempered rice and chicken. This KAJU KISHMISH TIL BATA DIYE FULKOPI goes very well with any South Asian / Middle Eastern Breads!