Sunday, 27 May 2018


Where to start from? Well, when the rest of the world prefers a relaxing weekend.... I reserve the Saturdays for some cooking.... I very much love doing something called "saptaher bag bhorti bazaar"... that is buying the weekly ration.... I usually do it on a Thursday and if mutton is on the list, it has to be Friday... get... wash and straight marinate, refrigerate till the next morning.... This Friday, the son had his examination.... Mumma did the blunder of going to the Indian Market on a Friday evening.... Its crowded with the Indian tourists and the local Indians... not necessarily they all pack their stroller with "kochur shak and data".... like Cristine's ma'am.... and make her strand in the rain.... On the weekend evenings that area gets so crowded that even taxis avoid that route .... booking one too becomes difficult.... Now, Cristine's ma'am could not fulfil her wish to drive her to the Indian Super Market on lazy afternoons till date.... I always tell her that she is a nice, young girl... she need not die so soon.... Kings do not bother how a kitchen or home is run... they sit in AC rooms and do meetings... they can have Herb Crusted Fish Fillets with Buttered Rice at every meal.... so I do not disturb such people calling them and ask to pick up the stranded us! Anyway, the "priceless" "kochur shaak, data, nona ilish" did reach home and I was relieved of having "baked salmon" back to back for two consecutive weeks.... I mean I like it but not always.... more so when Debjani of Debjanir Rannaghar allures me with "nona ilisher bhorta".... I like this girl.... she has no prejudices... from Bacon Jam to Beef Kebabs to Shutkir Bhorta to Chicken Shashlik ... she eats them all! She actually is the true face of Kolkata.... Kolkata / West Bengal was never bothered of who eats what or who follows which faith.... the happy go lucky clan has always been happy with "chaier sangey ta... adda" and yes, at times back biting hard working people to hide their own laziness.... without thinking "9-5 apish" does not take forward an economy alone .... Now my Bengali readers will start biting my back... truth causes indigestion! Anyway, I like many of you just as Debjani but cannot utter your name.... it feels good to see Bengal in your kitchen... not influenced by people who called Kolkata "khyalcata" decades back, not worth living but visiting occasionally only at the "dakkhin" part.... Barrackpore? Where is it? Do humans live there?.... Oh yes, I am an egoist!.... Anyway, a "rui".... Bengal Carp" also came home yesterday... it was more or less fresh... how do you know? Check the eyes which should not be sinking, the gills should be ruby red and not brown... the skin should be tight, should not sink if you tap! The Rui is from the neighbouring country and I was born at the bank of the "Churni Nodi".... so I am "partly" happy.... Even in Kolkata, very few sell the yesteryear's "nodi-pukurer rui-katla-aar".... most of the supply come from the other states and "bheri"...... I got an ilish.... plans are on for a pulao mid week.... can someone cut off my tongue please? The Rui mach had eggs as a bonus though a fish's taste lessens as eggs form.... but this home loves it.... so there was a "macher dimer aam diye tok, mutton, begun aloo tomato diye nona ilisher torkari".... the "ilisher matha diye kochur shaak" has been postponed till Monday.... Cristine and me both got tired! What else was there? DATA ALOO DIYE MAACHER JHOL O KEEMA DAL..... All the "data" will come to me and Cristine.... and the son's fish pieces has to be deboned by mumma.... they have their mutton kasha and keema dal, so mumma can pamper herself without guilt.... The DATA ALOO DIYE MAACHER JHOL is a very authentic Bengali Fish Curry during summers.... the KEEMA DAL may not be.... I meant they may be done at few homes but not in ours.... A majority of the Bengalis cook keema with matar and call it "ghugni"..... Then, not all of the angels or prince on this earth can eat DATA ALOO DIYE MAACHER JHOL.... they are more likely to have the KEEMA DAL with naan or paratha or chapati.... even my son too! This evening mumma will make some luchi for their keema dal.... happy faces mean! There also was made some Raw Banana Kofta Curry, the pictures are to be updated...

What is mumma's pick?.... the "macher dimer tok" and "begun aloo tomato diye nona illish".... "nona ilish" is small sized hilsa rubbed with a lot of salt, turmeric, oil and sun dried may be! Ok, the mutton and fish curry, kofta curry too!

So, Friday evening was a lot of my kind of shopping including gondhoraj lebu.... may be I will prepare someday a "gondhoraj bhetki".... with seabass .... I do not have the recipe in hand, it hurts my ego to search Google for a Bengali recipe.... Then I am not my mother.... I believe there are always "far" better people / cooks than me around.... one is off course our mother! How was my Friday morning? I reached the school only to know Piali won't come! I had with me Egg Fried Rice and an Oriental Style Chicken with Cashew nuts for her!... It was not her fault, I do not check whatsapp messages often.... I was relieved to hand it over to her daughter finally! I did do a photo session with the dish the night before, but dropped the idea of blogging on it.... I felt Cristine did not cut all the chicken pieces evenly and batter frying the chicken pieces would have made them softer! Food Bloggers always try to be honest as much as possible.... Though Piali said it was good, I felt it should at least be like the Oriental Takeaway Joints in Kolkata and not like the Shyambazaar or Gariahat roadside kind of! I do edit my photographs but not to the extent of fooling my readers! I will do it and share when my tongue will be happy, I will not buy rice wine for it, neither will call it Kung Po Chicken.... for that you have to go elsewhere! I really do not have to get Indian stuffs, the men are so happy with such dishes, I can save the taxi fares too and buy gold jewellery or visit Gahonaz or a Chamba Lama every 6 months for my love.... tribal jewelry! .... Even my cousin sister who lives very near to my Kolkata home got into Saree business.... As a big sister I must mention her once in a while but not before visiting her to see her stuffs.... Her designs are little different than what I like.... the choosy me ask my mom and maa-in-law not to gift me a saree.... A Jayeeta Dasgupta, Lepakshi, Mrignayani, Manjusha are my favourite spots for sarees.... I like but do not always buy from Debarathi Bhattacharya's Shaukh and Byloom for the same reason.... they are a bit high end ..... I either cannot afford or I prefer soft cottons or tissues these days! Jayeeta caters to all kinds of clientele... Instagram is the place where I watch what I love in Jaypore, What My Sister Wore, Suta_Bombay ..... I simply love their props, presentations.... I think I can give some valuable inputs to my cousin.... I am too lazy to use the ideas myself.... For The rest, they are doing their best catering to the "choice" of their clientele I believe! I only get disturbed with people I expect from.... like my friends Nishi... Swati... Sushovita's profile pictures... "dur birokto lagchey like korbo na" ..... Oh where was I? Ok, angry with Piali, I sat for sometime at the school canteen.... Just then a friend of our son arrived late and got scolding from the head master! I got very upset, would the kid be able to write his examination peacefully? The head master was not wrong either! I was thinking however busy professionals the parents are, cannot they drop the kid at the school gate at least during examinations? There can be so many hindrances on the way even in this island! I remember during our Masters Examination, we had just shifted to Barrackpore.... our immensely cool brain mother was escorting four of us girls to the examination centre.... our auto broke one of its parts on the way! We were about to faint, while our friend Juthika cried "kakima ki hobey?" and fainted! The mother made her lie down on a tea stall bench ... stood literally in the mid of the road.... stopped each auto, the buses were over crowded and sent us one by one... she came later with Juthika..... and I could not make her happy with my results ever except for the Bachelor of Education one where 85% secures a first class, no big deal! I feel so bad not been in touch with any of my Masters or BEd friends except for one from the later! We all did from an university we did not wish to and then lost all connections! Now, that boy may stand better in life than our son, but he got stressed before his paper which could be avoided! Anyway, I could not sit in the canteen, went out and had a big dosa.... so the lunch had to be light.... plain yogurt with red grapes.... I love fruits and yogurt if the fruits are sweet and the yogurt's sourness is within limits.... my friends down southern India will get angry... never mind... a fish curry for you!

Before I discard the pictures of the Oriental cum Indian Style chicken, I shared with you its pictures. "Datar Jholey bhul tyamon paiba na"..... The "data" used are Matured  / Overgrown Amaranth Stems.... can we call it so? Oh... my English... why I cannot improve it? At our times, the education system was such.... the good are always good.... what about us.... the mediocre? I am a  burning example of how faulty it was.... I belong to a "Benglish School" who cannot speak or write English properly, have a master degree in a subject of which I have forgotten everything..... there are also people who have a master degree in English but makes five mistakes in one sentence.... it is as much as our personal faults as is / was the learning by rote system! If "dadu" can get control on the triggers.... many can enjoy the fruits of an amazing education system! So, you know why I cannot go to work, better I cook DATA ALOO DIYE MACHER JHOL O KEEMA DAL for you all! I feel cholar dal or Bengal gram goes well with chicken keema, hence I paired them.... So, here are two non vegetarian dishes at one place for you! I am not happy with the pictures, the serving bowls needed to be smaller, too much of white as the base... the "chatjaldi paratha" looks bad... I made two in a hurry on a Saturday afternoon just for the picture purpose, so excuse me.... There should be few things in life that I should be able to say "I can"... else whats the point living?

If you wish to have a look at my Stir Fry Paneer with upgraded photos, here it is....


INGREDIENTS : [for the fish curry]

Bengal Carp : 8 steaks [rui / katla]
Matured Amaranth Stem : 3-4 sticks
Potato : 1big
Cumin Seed : 2-3 pinch
Fenugreek Seed : 2-3pinch
Cumin Powder : 1/2tsp
Coriander Powder : 11/2tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 2tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1 + 1/2tsp
Ginger Paste : 2tbsp
Salt : As Required
Oil : 5-6 tbsp [I always use mustard oil}

Nothing is as good if we can use fresh spice paste instead of the powders.... my blender is "komjori"... not so powerful!

INGREDIENTS : [for the minced chicken dal]

Bengal Gram : 1small cup [cholar dal]
Minced Chicken : 200gm
Sliced Onion : 1/2small cup
Garlic Paste: 2tsp
Ginger Paste : 1tbsp
Green Chilli : 2 -3 slitted
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 1tsp
Dry Red Chilli : 2 [halved]
Bay Leaf : 1
Cinnamon Stick : 2-3 two inch sized
Green Cardamom : 2-3
Cloves : 2-3
Sugar : 1tsp
Salt : As Required
Oil : 4tbsp


Let us prepare the fish curry first which is very authentic Bengali.

We usually use Bengal Carp for this curry, else small sized prawn. I used Rui / Rohu yesterday.... Wash the fish steaks thoroughly removing the scales. Rub with salt and turmeric and keep aside.

Peel the potato, wash it. Half it lengthwise, then again each half further into smaller pieces... vertically? or as you wish. Wash again and rub with salt and turmeric.

Discard the root end of the amaranth stems and the leaves too. Cut the rest into finger sized length. Remove the skin very thinly... the fibres actually.

Once done wash them and rub with salt and turmeric.

Take the ginger paste, dry red chilli powder, 1/2tsp turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and salt in a bowl. Mix well adding very little water. Keep aside.

Heat oil in a wok. Fry the amaranth stems lightly. Take down.

Fry the potato pieces till light brown and take down.

Fry the fish pieces in batches but not too brown.

Take down. Temper the existing oil with fenugreek and cumin seeds. Add little more oil if required. Add the spice mixture and stir fry for two minutes.

Add 1 coffee mug of water. Stir and let boil. Once it boils for 2 minutes or so, add the fried fish pieces and the potatoes. 

Cover cook at low heat for 3-4 minutes. Add little more water if required. Remove cover to add the "data"....

Let cook for a minute... we are done. To be enjoyed only with steamed rice.

Now the Keema Dal with Bengal Gram Dal and Minced Chicken! Forgot to click the steps!

Soak the dal for an hour in water. Pressure cook at lowest heat up to 1 whistle adding little turmeric and salt. Wait to open normally.

Wash the minced chicken and marinate with little salt and turmeric.

Heat oil in a wok and temper with cinnamon sticks, green cardamom, cloves, halved dry red chillies and a bayleaf.

Stir for a minute and add the sliced onions. Fry till golden brown, then add the ginger and garlic paste, rest of the salt and turmeric.

Stir for 2 minutes and add the minced chicken. Fold in well and cover cook at low heat for 7-8 minutes. 

Open cover and add the boiled cholar dal and the slitted green chillies. Fold in well and let cook for another 5-7 minutes.

Add the sugar. Let boil uncovered for 1 minute or so. We are done.

Enjoy with naan, paratha or chapati!