Sunday, 4 February 2018


Whatever happens.... let it be.... may be it was destined to!.... the lady @ CURRY AND SPICE gets this philosophical at the sight of hilsa and mutton... neither did mango stop coming in to this house all this while.... We perhaps have tasted mangoes coming from all the major mango producing countries during the entire off season! I will not shell out those dollars for a blue cheese, I save them to be able to buy hilsa, mutton, off season mango, salmon or at times cod whenever I wish to. There has to be a balance somewhere, I do not come from an affluent family.... The father indeed was a bank manager and a son of a rich businessman.... but with a different mentality! He never had any lust for his father's property and his typical East Bengal father did not know how to manage his hard earned, huge amount of resource.... he spent 80% of it on "ilish o chitoler peti and jhuri bhorti aam".... Recalling his childhood memory.... our Paa used to say... 15-20 villagers ate at our home each day.... That makes my maternal grandmother fond of my paternal grandfather more than her own husband who being the son of a poor farmer bagged a banker's job and saved each penny to build an empire.... The maternal grandma says my paternal grandpa was a big name for his benevolence .... both hailing from Comilla district of undivided Bengal ! Two questions arise... Who would you follow? and Aren't relationships complicated? Anyway, coming to my parents.... some of daddy's friends in the same profession and position, sent their kids to well known convents, they went to Calcutta Rowing Club or took some lessons in Lawn Tennis while our daddy stayed in a rented home in a notorious neighbourhood for 19 long years before he shifted to 25 kilometres interior of Kolkata in his own no fancy, fairly big home! Should you compare in this case? You never should! Our daddy never took us out for fine dining at a Park Street restaurant but he was the one who introduced me to something called Book Fair, got my brother a computer when no middle class homes thought of it! He took me to the amazing world of "Sindbad... the sailor"..... and yes later in life to "Arabian Nights" too.... did I stray... no! Be friendly with your kids, so they do not need to hide anything from you! Both of us siblings may not have been able to satisfy our mother with our academic records but we never ever compared our lives with others or blamed our parents... They scolded us in many occasions ... we never bothered.... We knew they did the best to their capacity for us! Look at today... why are the kids so restless? Attempting suicide because the parents scolded?.... We elders should be able to read a bit their minds, know the difference between scolding for a wrong doing and rebuking. I know some so called "perfecto daddies" who I hear are so disciplined about their kids.... they should thank the almighty for me not knowing their immediate family personally.... what if I tell them your father secretly worshipped a Parvin Babi or a Zeenat or say a Sofia Lorraine! Let me take you some 10- 12 years back... Smita Banerjee's and our family are seated in a Park Street restaurant! An elderly woman sitting at another table was reading and enjoying her meal. Just after 10 minutes, the two kids started creating a ruckus all around... the elderly lady opposes.... Dibyendu Banerjee scolds them hard.... when T loses his cool... tells his brothersome, our Dibsy... "tui chelebelai ki korti".... and then gets into an argument with the elderly lady .... how can you expect kids to behave as adults? Can you expect same environment as of home at a public place?....

Disciplining a child is important without expecting them to behave as a full grown teen or an adult! Do not set our home as an example, its a rule free zone much to my displeasure... I believe people should maintain some discipline in their daily chores of waking up, having meals and going to sleep! At this moment.... kid's suicidal tendency, increase in rape cases, nationwide unrest in my country of birth worries me... really not interested in public updates on my number of temple visits. I am a Hindu, I will visit temples, let people of other religious beliefs do it peacefully... too! You may well call me the so called salmon eater leftist! Well in this matter, I am a disciple of one engineer cum painter cum photographer cum poet Jayanta Roy... I do believe we do not need to be a leftist or a rightist to be humane.... The couple's natural flair for fine artistry makes their debutant film maker son do awesome pencil sketches since his childhood without any formal training.... Genes do work in some areas and our friend Dr. Saubhik Sengupta has something to say about it.... you can check his article on his Facebook profile.... you can also take a look at Jayanta da's page Endless Joy for some daily dose of wisdom. In this space, I wish to mention many other friends... Bengali / non-Bengali speaking who excelled in different areas and not a worthless like me! Do not call it imitation, but drawing inspiration from others that are worth!

It is a weekend, a mutton dish as supreme as this PEPE BATA DIYE PATHAR JHOL is worth sharing! Anyway, something is not allowing me to stay in high spirit, a mutton is an absolute requirement! I just shared few pictures of mine in a social forum and the silly me has to take a look at them ... that too after sharing... haha... I discovered my already flat nose tip looks more like a baby potato....... uff what a pain.... ahh this was one among various other reasons a moron fled many springs back, never to appear again... who knows I would not be that "Betal".... the ghost of that fable "Vikram aur Betal".... As a teen a mutton curry with rice and the television serial "Vikram aur Betal".... was a deadly combination for me! The moron at this home did not fund for a cosmetic surgery of my nose either. Since he tolerated this abnormal woman for a total of 20+6 years, I wish to treat him with a bowlful of PEPE BATA DIYE PATHAR JHOL along side some Dal Poori and a super quick curry with potato and peas whose recipe would be shared later. We also had an instantly made chilli-garlic chutney to go with the platter. The senile, weird, diabetic woman was making some place in the stomach just to enjoy this bliss of mutton curry eating light since yesterday.... She got her men their mandatory at least once a week double, spicy chicken burger, deprived her of a "filleto fish" one.... had a homemade tomato soup with butter seared paneer on it and one crisp toast... this morning tolerated a bowl of cornflakes and yogurt too instead of two "bashi luchi aar cha"..... all for the sake of a stale and heavenly mutton curry with piping hot steamed rice.... its worth!

PEPE BATA DIYE PATHAR JHOL is no unique recipe... just an "edik-odik korey boka chalaki"..... I was really not in the mood to search big brother Google for a Kolhapuri Mutton or others.... I prefer going my way most of the time. I have used very few ingredients like garlic paste, chilli powder, turmeric powder, onion paste, salt and grated raw papaya that is a natural meat tenderiser. I do have a dish of chicken on my blog done with grated papaya sans the onion. I learnt it from Sanak and Nibedita Chottopadhay.... Unlike me.... Sanak had always been an unconventional cook who loves experiments in the kitchen.... When I stepped in to this island... he taught me how to cook salmon in mustard-chilli-yogurt sauce to feel at home..... I told my family Sanak taught me this... then I saw Sanak learnt it from others.... Learning is a cyclic process. I may be apparently loggerheads with his happening wife because we do not accept each other's way of life.... Our marriage happened within a gap of 10 days.... I miss that small town, innocent, beautiful girl who I met 15 days prior to my marriage day.... but the bond is unbreakable! I am reserving the fish recipes with Indian touch for the approaching big celebration in the island!... Do not expect me to prepare a homemade Hoisin sauce and cook fish fillets in it.... there are experts who will be doing it for you! Since I am a sit at home, good for nothing fatso... I write all "no-sense" before a recipe share which has no relation to the later.... I do not have a bit of knowledge on the nutritive value of ingredients like some of my favourites. God made one Saira Banu, Liz Hurley, expert Chef, engineer, doctor, scientist, poet, computer wizard and then a worthless S too. If you cannot digest it, you can dive straight in to the recipe!

Mutton : 1kg[medium cut]
Grated Raw Papaya : 1small cup
Onion Paste : 2tbsp
Garlic Paste : 1 +1tbsp
Red Chilli Powder : 11/2tbsp
Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder : 1tsp [for colour]
Cinnamon Powder : 1tsp
Green Cardamom Powder : 1/2tsp
Bay Leaf : 1
Turmeric Powder 1+1tsp
Salt : As Required
Oil : 2tbsp +1tbsp [ I use mustard oil]


Wash the mutton thoroughly taking it in a bowl. Marinate it with the grated raw papaya, 1tbsp garlic paste, 1tsp turmeric powder, 1/2tbsp red chilli powder, 1tbsp oil.

Mix it well very well for quite sometime... say 3-4 minutes. Cover with a cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 5 hours or overnight is better!

Take the bowl of marinated mutton an hour before cooking it.

Heat oil in a wok and temper with a bay leaf!

Fry the onion paste for 2 minutes. Add the garlic paste and fry at low heat for 2 minutes.

Add the remaining turmeric powder, red chilli powder and the Kashmiri red chilli powder. Mix well and stir for 1/2 a minute.

Add the mutton pieces sans the marinade and stir at high heat for 3-4 minutes. Reduce heat to minimum and add the marinade. Fold in well and cover.

A lot of water will be released and we will cover cook till all the water dries up. Heat should be at minimum and we need to check from time to time.

Once the water dries up, add 11/2 coffee mug of warm water.... fold in well and cook for 10-12 minutes covered, checking in between.

Open cover and add the cinnamon powder and green cardamom powder... fold in well and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

We are done! We enjoyed having it with Dal Poori, a green-chilli and garlic sauce made pasting the green chilli-garlic cloves-vinegar-salt- water together in the ratio 4:2cloves:1tsp:a pinch : 2tbsp.

The PEPE BATA DIYE PATHAR JHOL goes equally well with steamed rice, pulao, or even toasted bread!

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