Sunday, 7 October 2018


"Bujhlen didi bazaar agun... pujo gonder diney ki khabo bolun to?".... "Aar jai khaiyen 'kho' babu... salad khaia Bangalir naam dubayen na".... "dekhun ebhabey bhor raatey uthey portam shobai Mahalaya te... mamar bari jetam schoole portey .... bhor chartei uthey mahalaya shuntey shuntey cha, nice biskut, kotkoti, chanachur, aar ha eei cheeseling o khaitam money hoy.. Parle 'kumpany' bar korcilo na, nahi Monacoi? ... tai boilla Bangali pujar agey ooi shada-sobuj majhkhaney pathor deoa tarkari piece koira khaibo?... peyara hoiley nahoy buijhtam... jhal noon diya besh lagey ... itanre bhoote paise... dudin por shuru korbo kumrer mukh kaitta mukhosh banano! Bhanu Babu baichya thakley kaitta fyalaito idirey! Ami ooi sobuj phol ta diya chutney banaiya bazaar e na charsi to naam nai amar!"
You see no pun is intended in the above lines.... its our biggest festival in a week and we are totally in the mood.... we obviously refer to the true heart Bengalis ... if aren't they are forcing themselves to be otherwise! From the picture below you will know that I cooked some mutton and hilsa yesterday.... I still have to get the bones out of the Hilsa pieces of my to be 17 years old boy's share.... desperately hoping that he keeps Bengali platter to be in his must have food! If its hilsa... each of us will have two pieces... one deep fried with the oil and one in a curry.... yesterday I prepared a slightly different curry which I wish to blog on!! We had some palak dal too! I cook a lot on a Saturday morning till afternoon to avoid any cooking till Monday... Say, if there are two meats ready in hand... I can prepare some pulao for Sunday lunch and have with one meat, a vegetable and dal.... whilst on a Monday morning I can prepare some "ruti / porota" and pack their lunch boxes with another variety of meat! On Tuesday, there can be a jeera rice and egg or fish curry that had been cooked on Saturday ... while on Wednesday Cristine would make a wonderful pasta dish with cheese and sauces for three of them... I do taste though not allowed to.... This system helps me. Watermelon is something I can survive on, I do not know why I end up eating cheeselings and cakes in between.... Over eating is a mental disorder... a resultant of agony & anxiety.... which I have in excess amount.... there is no reason to but I have it.... If you are a happy-go-lucky soul.... you can keep your diet under control always! So long my sarees hide my 3-tier tummy... I am okay! I totally wish to switch over to saree but the weather here does not support the wish.... but I will gradually.... following the mother... That "another woman" in my life changes over to a saree when I visit her and softly scolds me for my saree buying spree .... "S... amar boumara amai laal saree porai".... "ekdom porun... asubidhey nei".... Come on... anger, frustration, care, love, compassion need not walk together... My heart does not work that way!! So, all that luchi / porota / bhaat / croissants / cheeselings in between watermelon & salad sessions keeps my weight constant at 60 kg with a 4"11' height.... I went down to 55kg some 3years back! May be I do not wish to live long! The eggplant cut "beguni style" could not turn into a "beguni".... it was 3 pm already yesterday, I was yet to serve their lunch! I do wish to be a free bird like you. All of the husband's romanticism sees light on a Saturday morning... when he wishes to go out for 'looooong' drives! I question "what will you eat on Sunday... what about the son's snacks?" I cannot tolerate his answers of getting everything outsourced! His answers irritates me, I cannot allow more than one meal from outside over the weekend! There was a time when we ate thrice a week in a restaurant, always were seen in the Park Street area.... now it is not possible. What if the son leave the comfort cage created by mumma to pursue his dreams in that "bahargaon".... before she starts to learn to cope up without him all over again... she wants to spend maximum time with him! No, I do not blame him, he has to make his own life and I should always wish him the best !

Whosoever scolds me.... I have already messaged one Jayeeta Dasgupta what I wish for come December.... I have not bought a saree in the last 11/2 years .... I request people not to gift me one... I am too choosy about them.... Some friends are naughty... they are gifting me such weird combinations... blue-yellow-red... One Dibyendu Banerjee sent me an orange-pink combination Southern cotton from Chennai last to last week. They are nice but I have to think minutely about the blouse and accesories until I wear them... I have to give mighty answers to my naughty friends! For this pujo, I have 6-7 sarees to choose from about 12-15 of them... of which the black-off white gecha I got from Boyonika and the black & white Bengal tant with blocks and kantha stitch done on it are my favourite picks! If you cook and have MUTTON PULAO often, you cannot go for chiffons and georgettes!!

You see I have a Coffee Date this evening, I love carrying home cooked food for the people who mean... it definitely sits and suits between two cups of coffee and some "gup-shap".... Who is it? Its a Sunday and I am not asking the husband to drop me at the venue, instead taking a joy ride in metro rail... I love it! Hmm... "highly suspicious bujhlen Laalmohan Babu"..... I do have a licence for over 11/2 years now... yet cannot manage the "gol chakti" alone.... so stressful... " Ami nijer kheyaley hatbo, pukur parey boshbo eka... kalo dighir antosthal dekhbo.... keuki daralo pechoney eshey... jolchobi dekhlam... pechon firey takabo na... o morichika!.... Ami hatu murey ekta boi koley niye boshbo... Rashid Khan ba Elvis ba Elton ba Celine ba Bhimsen Joshi ba Hariprasad cholbey pashey".... Those are my loves ... I will get back to you all in turns! Anyway, what am I packing the food boxes with?... "palak chicken, pulao, porota, aloo-peper dalna, palak dal, narkol naru".... Let me see whether the non-Bengali speaking can tolerate our "mishti-mishti aloo-peper dalna o polao".... For the rest of you there has to be a MUTTON PULAO today! I have done it very simply as we would it on any weekday! During Durga Pooja we do not wish to spend time in the kitchen... you can try this for the Nabami lunch and go out for the pandal hopping in the evening! As I said, I do it with the regular spices available in the kitchen! The rice grain variety used is "chini-gura or kali-jeera" variety similar to our "gobinda bhog" that I get from the Asian stores! Let us proceed with the recipe of MUTTON PULAO that Bengalis would love to have during Durga Pooja!!

INGREDIENTS : [To Marinate the Mutton]

Mutton : 700-800gm [medium cut]
Plain Yogurt : 150gm
Ginger Extract : 2tbsp
Garlic Extract : 4tbsp
Onion Paste : 2-3tbsp
Turmeric Powder : 1/2tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 11/2tbsp
Lemon Juice : 2-3tbsp
Ghee : 2tbsp
Salt : As Required

INGREDIENTS : [To Finish Off the Dish]

Fragrant Rice : 1coffee mug [I used kali-jeera] 
The 1/2 cooked mutton
Bay Leaf : 2-4
Green Cardamom : 3-4
Cloves : 3-4
Sliced Onion : 1medium cup
Chopped Green Chilli : 2tbsp
Ginger Paste : 1tsp
Garlic Paste : 2tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1/2tsp
Cashew Nut : 8-10 [halved]
Raisin : 10-12 [soaked in hot water for an hour]
Ghee : 2tbsp + 4tbsp
Sugar : 11/2tsp [optional]
Salt : As Required


We will wash the mutton thoroughly under running water, else we may contact worms!

Marinate it with all the ingredients mentioned under the marination section!

Marinate overnight in an airtight container in the refrigerator or at least for 5 hours! Take out 1 hr before starting to cook.

Take the mutton along with the marinade in a cooker and pressure cook at lowest heat up to 1 whistle. Let it open normally!

Wash and soak the rice in water for an hour.

Drain the water and rub the rice well with 2tbsp ghee. Each grain should be nicely coated with ghee. Keep aside for at least 1/2 an hour.

Heat 4tbsp ghee in a deep bottomed vessel or wok.... Fry the cashew nuts for a minute and take off !!

Temper the ghee with bayleaves, green cardamom, cloves and cinnamon sticks.

Add the sliced onions and fry till caramelised, I am not that particular either!

Add the turmeric, garlic and ginger paste and chopped green chillies. Stir for 2 minutes.

Add the 1/4th cooked mutton and fold in well. Cover cook for  1/2 an hour to 45 minutes.

Add the ghee marinated rice!

Fold in well and stir for 2-3 minutes!

Add 11/2 same coffee mug of warm water that we used to measure the rice. We can use little more water if required towards the end, but not all at a time. We do as we need... the rice grains should not be overdone, neither the mutton should remain under cooked.

Cover cook for 10-12 minutes at low heat, please check every 3-4 minute.... we cannot let it burn.

Open cover and add the cashew nuts and raisin. Fold in gently. We are done.

Enjoy with some salad & raita!!