Sunday, 29 April 2018


There was a time when the mother had a tough time feeding me bitter gourd .... or say any kind of vegetables except for the ones which had some fish, fish heads or some small prawns! That the son of this house does not want to eat vegetables might be a trait inherited from his mother .... so I can be still hopeful about the son that in future his taste buds may adapt to having vegetables. With that hope this mother still mixes the veggies with the dal in such a way that he is not able to separate them from the dal and rice! Be it deboning a hilsa or turning the veggies to a paste for a sixteen year old is a tedious job referring to the boredom of doing it for so many years. Then I cannot stop doing it because I am my mother's daughter.... No, I do not agree to what our mother did for us .... spoon feeding..... however I fail to take lessons from her mistakes .... a comparison comes when I see a boy two years younger than mine so responsible and obedient! Mine till date leaves back his lunch box to water bottle to pencil box at school and never looks for them the next day.... Comparing two kids is not good but it saddens me at times! I remember my friend Rupa Roy once told me that one day she noticed that her son Deepro was not willing to share anything with them.... so for the next few days she got snacks and shared among other family members without giving anything to him. Deepro got the message and the lesson.... I call this wise parenting!.... This boy had / has that level of maturity that a forty year old may not have! Age and wisdom may not be inter-related, even at forty we may not learn how to behave and speak in public .... some do not even understand being gentle and nice to others is a quality .... it would remain the greatest regret of my life!.... Thinking of this I so much wish to constantly give vocal tonic to the son..... on how he should learn to behave and how he should treat a girl! I am planning such conversations post his examinations if only he allows me too! He also has to choose his associations wisely.... wrong associations do not help to grow good qualities in you..... he has to know how to deal with people.... we represent our family after all! We do not have a problem with our son having a girlfriend but he should know how to behave with her even when we are not watching!..... With all such speculations deep inside, I deboned hilsa for him even yesterday at 3 pm.... I could not serve them lunch before that.... I am a silly and foodie..... so could not wait till Cristine's return and headed to the Indian market on Thursday evening.... I got hilsa / ilish , alphonso, season's first potol / pointed gourd! From the pictures below you will know how desi I am .... and mind it those are not "morphed" pictures made and used to spread hatred and tension throughout the country.... some people have eye problem without having high powered glasses as mine! I have really made my circle very close.... what does not attract me or make me happy should be kept at a distance.... in public!  At the moment I am focussed on the son's future besides happy blogging.... With a literal high nose.... I do not want a mediocre life for him ..... I have a severe guilt of not been able to make my mother happy academically .... had I have listened to her I may not have reached heights but would have been a daily passenger to that college in Bagula everyday or may have managed a transfer towards Kolkata by now.... that I live in a nation with five star ambience has nothing to do with me.... its all the husband's credit ..... he is qualitatively much higher than me! Even his teen was hurtful .... he faced all challenges of being a poor father's son.... of not belonging to a pedigreed family..... of not abiding to the rules of looking like a "raj putra"..... what we call a handsome guy! His courage made him accept all odds and use them as a weapon to be an achiever.... sitting on his "choupaya" on their asbestos roofed rented home.... he told his friend and confidant "I will achieve everything for which I have been dejected"! That confidant saw the spark in his eyes and did not spare a second to target him as a potential suitor ..... bagged him sooner for she knew he will make it.... haha..... I should not go beyond this.... he will not like it ..... he does not like social media..... he does not even know when his profile pictures get changed! The problem is when the bond of friendship is so strong ..... romanticism takes a backseat ..... it is a problem .... more so when the wife is a Bollywood fan! So you know even if my man or men do not touch bitter gourd in any form .... not even a STUFFED BITTER GOURD..... I do not mind.... they know there will be a meat dish for their parathas.... bitter gourd comes for the wife and Cristine! Even Bollywood may not eat bharwa karela .... I keep Bollywood near to me.... it nourishes my dream world.... but it cannot be my friend.... "Tumhare paas gari hai, bungla hai, motor hai.... aur mere paas? ek motor hai nau saal purana.... aur ek kiraye ka makaan.... 3100 sing dollar bharna parta hai har mahine mein 1150 sqft ke liye...".... Jokes apart, to earn in crores requires hard work.... the ladder to go up was / is never easy! I remember I participated in a television contest back in Kolkata prior to a Durga Puja.... God! it was a total pain... they invaded my home with camera and full set up... took a preliminary interview... then I along with others had to shoot in a non AC studio which was a furnace! So boring was the long make up hours and takes and retakes.... I was losing and suddenly in the final round when we had to light the maximum number of lamps within a minute... I won and got the first prize... oh terrible.... 10,000 rupees was the prize money ..... after six months they gave us about 4-5 thousand deducting the taxes.... "S boudi jitey gyachen 10,000 takar prothom puroshker" had no more a thrill by then .... uff! Perhaps "Aajker Durga" was the title! So, you know you have to work hard to carry a "Harrods" ..... I do not mind and go and make negative comments when Times Of India shares a picture of Karina with a caption that her bag costs more than an average man's car.... she earned it!.... I will neither go and share a cheese cake with a cherry compote for her... I am a fan who will remember her as a "Chameli" or "Geet" in Jab We Met .... The later is a film I never get bored of.... I am happy when I buy stuffs for my home... be it "ilish, alphonso, mutton, katla or potol".... the ilish and katla were not pleasantry big.... but fresh! Look at the brothers of the mutton shop ..... I am happy here.... people do not batter each other in the name of religion! These guys complimented me.... "sister your voice is so sweet... as of a nightingale .... that of a school goer'.... I burst into laughter.... and said I loved when people told me this up to a certain stage.... now at 47 it embarrasses.... specially when I receive a call from a stranger.... "hand over the phone to any elder".... come on!

Besides this STUFFED BITTER GOURD , I also have a wish to blog on my mother's recipe of "ucche chingrir chocchori" that she learnt from her mother! Be it a "macher tok with radhuni bata" or "ucche chingrir chocchori" .... I had it in our family.... did not see it in the husband's side of the family..... the mother-in-law did not have time for heirloom, time consuming dishes.... the lady with a literal high nose only gave importance to "aar, pabda, ilish, patha".... anyway by 12pm she had to lock her door and go to neighbourhood homes or restaurants! The paa-in-law's life was spent to meet ends till the son went to the sea to support him.... even after that he did not swim in luxury .... he is the one who never complained about his son and always felt his burden and tried to save his money! A father who polished his kid's shoes even when they were in high school..... got cigar packets for the son until a newly wed wife said this is wrong.... and she started getting it for her lazy moron... She was indulgent .... he visited home for four months in a year after a hard work.... These guys spend as long as 48 hours without sleeping on board.... money does not come for free.... that a mariner has a wife at very port has 1/4th truth in it.... I have not payed my tribute to "our" community.... the mariner's community as yet.... more on it and how a newly wed got a packet of cornflakes instead of a gold flake should come up later! This Indian vegetarian sides called STUFFED BITTER GOURD will be loved by my paa-in-law, my mother who loves "neem pata bhaja with ghee" and the late father.... I dedicate this dish to them.... No, my mother-in-law may not have it.... she only has... "raner patha, aar er lyaja, ilisher peti, rui-katlar gada o peti".... She told the newly wed me to keep all the boney fish pieces for me and the father-in-law and give the good ones to her and her son.... her daughter did not ever fancy food.... She categorically said that those who eat "charapona" builds an empire.... I answered that it is a quality to stay within limits and build empire with one's hard earned money..... Anyway, if a reader sees that I am going to blog on a vegetarian side STUFFED BITTER GOURD  and yet goes and hits the like button on an "ilish bhaja and khichuri"blogged on some three months back .... I consider it as an insult.... if you do not like my move .... stay away or you are at the liberty to unlike my page! Its high time that I emphasise that my blog comes first ..... and the profiles at different forums were created to promote the blog leaving the personal Facebook profile .... I strongly felt that a like on a food photograph is not helping my mission.... I am not a photographer with  qualitative photographic skills! Click the recipe link if you may  or stop doing anything that hurts! Unlike the page if you find CURRY AND SPICE unworthy of your likes.... Likes indeed bring joy but that should come from one's heart and for my recipes and not to be conjoined with any other issues.... I do not accept it! Anyway.... my beef eater men always have a meat sides on days of veggies like bharwa karela.... I just wonder people who love cows so much.... why they cannot respect other animals! Do cows and goats have pedigree and non pedigree issue.... I humbly ask as I am an illiterate! People have so much knowledge.... they only lack compassion..... wisdom.... at least in public! To please myself and the like minded people I got this "rajanigandha".... after many years.... the grand father used to grow.... Tell me what song comes forth with the sight of this flower?

"Rajanigandhi, kamini, hashnuhana"..... one fine evening... in the dark one snake fell on my mashimoni's head... they come where these flowers grow... they say! I was standing at the back else people would know by now that there was an S who died young! This is an easier way of stuffing a bitter gourd with the potato filling... I have cut them half. For the rest please follow the recipe! I know blogging on a "rogrogey pathar jhol" or adding the recipe link down there may stop some people  sharing nonsense on their stream or get me some 40-50 likes .... why should I? It gives me no high but irritation.... even if there are 2 likes.... it should be genuine! By the way, for the people of this island.... I had stuffed bitter gourd at Jessi's .... its somewhere in the Little India area and I simply loved it! May be I will ask for their recipe on my next visit!

INGREDIENTS : [for the potato filling]

Potato : 1big [wash, boiled, peeled, mashed]
Cumin Powder : 1/2tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 1/2tsp
Dry Mango Powder : 1/4tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1/4tsp
Cumin Seed : 1/3tsp
Green Chilli : 2 [washed, chopped]
Salt : As Required
Oil : 2-3tbsp

INGREDIENTS : [final product]

Bitter Gourd : 4-5 [cut two ends, half, wash]
Onion : 2big [peeled, washed, sliced]
Dry Red Chilli : 2
Cumin Seed : 1/4tsp
Fenugreek Seed : 2-3 pinches
Cumin Powder : 1/2tsp
Coriander Powder : 1/2tsp
Garam Masala Powder : 1/3tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 1tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Salt : As Required
The Potato Filling
Oil : 2-3tbsp


Scoop out the seeds and flesh of the halved bitter gourds and marinate them with salt and turmeric for about half an hour!

Heat oil in a wok and fry the halved, marinated bitter gourds in batches! Transfer them onto tissue papers 

Temper the same oil with cumin seeds! Add the chopped green chillies, stir 2-3 times!

Add the boiled potato, rest of the spice powders, salt as required.

Fold in well and stir cook for about 3-4 minutes. 

The filling is ready, transfer to a bowl!

Once cool,  fill the centre of the bitter gourds with a generous amount of potato filling!

Arrange them on a serving plate! 

Heat 2-3tbsp oil in a clean wok and temper oil with dry red chillies, fenugreek and cumin seeds! 

Add the sliced onion and stir fry them till golden brown. Add all the dry spice powders, the remaining turmeric powder and salt as required!

Cook at low heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring continuously. Sprinkle little water, else the spice mixture will burn!

Once done, spread the spice mixture evenly atop the stuffed bitter gourd / karela. Enjoy it with flat breads or with a serving of dal & steamed rice!

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