Friday, 14 December 2018


With two members of the family, the mumma and her son down with cough & cold, a pakora / fries / fritters is the need of the hour.... specially when the son finishes a container full of bitter gourd chips that the mumma kept for herself. This family loves fries and fritters is true but it was beyond my imagination that he will have bitter gourd chips! He is weird, you can see in the pictures how he watches those early or pre-Christian or Pegan era oriented movies on Netflix. These kinds reminds me of Ulysses that we had as text in the higher secondary course. However, I strongly feel that there should be some kind of censorship imposed on the Netflix series.... it is a necessity for homes with rebel kids and loose fathers who think scolding or disciplining kids is not necessary at all. If people grow up in an environment where there is no discipline..... where the lady of the house comes home at times after midnight chatting in the neighbourhood houses.... discipline is just a word.... The siblings grew up very well but. So, if I freak around the entire night, wake up at mid-afternoon .... there is no one to stop me.... but memory comes in between.... a little girl sees a 4'8" woman cleaning her garden and home since five in the morning.... assorting the dry leaves and branches of the coconut tree to make "narkel kathir jharu"..... grinding a special variety of rice during this time of the year for "pithey-puli".... did I see a "hamandista" and a grinder that Southern India still use to grind rice?.... so heavy that a normal adult cannot lift. I am the bark of a deeply rooted big tree which was cut and attached to another tree. It was a personal choice I had to make to get a genuine partner for life knowing I cannot ever adjust to the rest of the environment! I do not like the unruly traits in my son but blood plays a big role here.... it was inevitable. However, I love him the most in this world.... this superbly yum vegetarian snack MUSHROOM CORN CURRY PATA PAKORA was for him to enjoy .... he is not keeping well and we are visiting India next week... oh! no! Below are his interesting watches.

I am not keeping well either. Yet, I visited my old neighbourhood yesterday to do my nails, a little of shopping and eat a teriyaki chicken and ebi fry Bento Set at the food court where I visited almost everyday few years back.

It was so good.... I have become more of an Oriental perhaps... I love sticky rice with some soya sauce and a sprinkle of spice powder atop. The effect of the lovely meal was that I was almost asleep when the girls were doing my nails, this one luxury I indulge in. Back home I felt dizzy.... then gathered courage to assort the ingredients and prepare those MUSHROOM CORN CURRY PATA PAKORA. Actually there was too much of carb intake yesterday, "porota o aloo chocchori" in the morning, Bento set for lunch and "ghee rice with pakora and aar maach er jhol bhaat" at dinner time ..... Like mother like son.... she hated vegetables in her childhood / teen hood.... I am hopeful about the son. The man of the house is travelling, expected back home tonight. So, planning for some grilled chicken to be served with garlic bread for dinner. With blocked nasal and forehead tissues / nerves, I am so unable to cook variety. There will be another day of lavish cooking only before we travel to India.

You see mine is the humblest of the kitchen, with cracks here and there on the tiles, such a small space that I cannot think of buying an air frier and oven I so wish to. How I requested the husband to buy a small, three-roomed flat instead of his dream car which is not required here, public transport system is so good. The majority of Indians here with a foreigner status echoes my husband.... "we are ready but will not pay the extra stamp duty imposed on us"..... so big is that amount that you can buy a humble flat in the remotest suburbs of Kolkata with it ... so no point. I always would prefer my own small corner be it in Khatib or at the border line of the neighbouring country.... commuting is not an issue in this island. My research says that the best condominiums are those which are far from the MRTs and Malls, although they have a Murugan Store or NTUC or Giant within 1/2 a kilometre. However, I could do a MUSHROOM CORN CURRY PATA PAKORA just as it came to my mind because the super mall is opposite our home.

The curry leaves grow without much care. I had to make use of them before the immediate neighbour could complain of encroachment, haha! What goes in this amazing fritter / fry / pakora are mushrooms, baby corns, curry leaves, onion, green chillies, rice flour, corn flour , gram flour, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, carom seeds. Let us do it and make your harsh winter a bit colourful.




Chop the mushrooms further and slice the baby corns discarding the two ends. Wash them separately.

Peel, discard the two ends and chop the onions small, wash.

Wash the curry leaves, chop and wash the green chillies too.

Take all the above ingredients on a big bowl. To it, add the rice flour, corn flour, gram flour, carom seeds, red chilli and turmeric powders, salt.

Mix well everything without adding a bit of water. It is not required as water will be released from the washed and drained vegetables.

Prepare small balls from it. If bigger, the outside may be crispy but inside it will remain undone, neither do we want a burnt look for the sake of a well cooked pakora / fritter.

Heat enough oil in a wok to deep fry but not to the smoking point. My idea of enough oil is slightly different. I am a miser, cannot pour 300ml oil to deep fry and throw away the left over. Neither do I agree to repeated reuse of oil, one more time is still ok. What I do is constantly stir them once slightly done and adjust the heat in same frequency.

Once done, we will place them onto tissue papers before serving.

Transfer to serving plates, get some salad and pickle and enjoy with your tea and coffee!

Wednesday, 12 December 2018


Palong Shaak / Spinach / Palak and Donepata / Fresh Coriander / Hara Dhania is a childhood love. I remember, early November the Dum Dum Bazaar used to get green with young leaves of coriander and spinach which was too much of a favourite with the daddy and me specially. Palong eating ended early March with "shish palong er chocchori or ghonto".... I feel irritated not being able to blog on half of my favourite dishes due to unavailability of the right ingredients.... However, I discovered "byne, samudrer kekle o bhola maach" here.... if only my men were as excited as me having them. However, I force them to eat "choto-majhari sizer tatka rui".... fresh, smaller or medium sized Bengal Carp that comes from our neighbours.... if you can visit the Bangladeshi shops at night or the Indian wet market on Saturday or Sunday mornings, you get them. They make very good light curries.... our families are not used to garlic and onion in fish curries. I told the husband to manage it until we visit Kolkata and if I debone, the son eats. I simply love, though scared to have "khoira or folui".... If I feel lethargic, I get very fresh seabass and either batter fry or cook it with cauliflower & potato or chilli-mustard paste. I just cannot have salmon, snapper every other day .... when they have it, I get "kechki maach" for myself.... I have not even blogged on "kechki maacher bora" as yet. You need fresh pumpkin or bottle gourd leaves for that.... how do I call myself a Bengali Blogger then? The conversation with the mother goes like this .... "Mani, you always say that people of Comilla use coriander paste on curries during winter, but I have seen people blogging on dhone pata bata shim belonging elsewhere".... I will cross over the fence and kiss them at times because they take me on a nostalgic tour, gets me onto the grandmother's lap, because I do not have or care for name, fame, followers! Success obviously tastes good but laid backs like me do not care for it either.... I do what I wish to! Feeding vegetables alluring with chicken pieces like in this PALONG DHONEPATA MURGI [CHICKEN WITH SPINACH & CORIANDER] is one of the few tricks I play on my men. This is not really like the Northern Indian saag meat but as I do most of the time... just use whatever is available in the kitchen.

I love to cook is true, I am a foodie is more than a truth.... the parents perhaps knew from my childhood what disaster I am going to get for my body and health. Last week on the day of the husband's office party I had that big, bad aloo parantha for lunch and then that dinner spread.... imagine! When in vegetarian Indian eateries, Cristine always eats a masala dosa.... I look for variety... appam, chaat, parantha, upma.... I though prefer my drier version of upma which we call nonta suji! On my walks locally, I like getting food from these choice centres...

I so loved this sight on way to my doctor's chamber. Those are spinach / palong / palak. There are few variety of other plants and herbs too. These shops and chambers are on the ground floor of the Government Housings and the residents make full use of the small, open area spaces. I like this concept so much. As of now I am growing flowers and herbs. Fruits and vegetable bearing plants are not my cuppa... that needs knowledge and motherly care.

This may have triggered the urge to blog on this PALONG DHONEPATA MURGI [CHICKEN WITH SPINACH & CORIANDER] or is it something else? I am self centric that is true. When the husband says so I do not leave him either. I retaliate immediately .... who is not? When my father died and my family needed me beside them, your parents called me to come back as early as possible... why? They did not even have to toast a bread for my son.... Cristine was doing it all alone as I instructed.... Ipsita visited almost everyday with food and assistance, Kaushik Neogy and his wife.... a daughter like to them took them out, Sanak Chottopadhay took them to the clinic, paid the bill and never took it back from the husband. Why I was asked to come back? Nah, a married girl's daddy should not hold any importance in her life.... specially if she is not working, she should not. I know my mother has complains on why the brother's wife visits her parents everyday but I never instigate her on this matter. I was hurt when my sister-in-law too told me to go back early... why? I never question her why your mother gets more of your attention & care than your mother-in-law? I digest because they have done good to me too. My mother-in-law creates new laws to shun my side of the family. In an average Bengali family... it is the maternal uncle who feeds the first morsel of rice to the kid... my brother was not allowed to. Unfortunately my sister-in-law or my brother do not have a child.... else you would have seen my husband flown in to be present at his sister's home for that occasion. The real world has gifted me so much of hurts that I do not even look around whats happening in the virtual world. I do have the guts to tell my mother that the rules for a daughter and the daughter-in-law should be the same in a house hold.... I remember, on few occasions when I left my school going son at home with my in-laws ... the grandfather used to prepare 'Maggi' noodles for him... while the grandmother was either sleeping or complaining about me to someone over phone, she however did for few months after he was born. Everything counts in a relationship! Some of my friends still get plate full of food right in front of their mouth from their mother-in-law .... I am not jealous but I do not like what I get to hear or heard about me. Following one to one relationship, I will not take the effort to visit their home anymore ... I will either call them at my home for a cuppa or  at the City Centre 2. I however bagged an appointment with the eye surgeon through his wife Paramita.... only to him I can say that I lost the son's last prescription.... Take it from me... only the cool headed doctors can make it in life. There is an exception called Swati who made it a point to visit my father each time he was admitted in a hospital.... her recently widowed mother awaits a big hug from me... On my priority list is my deceased friend's wife and kids also. Off course, I am not calculative, I will manage a meet with the others if only "they wish to".... its time to know that part more.... are they at all interested or its me who is trying in vain? Everyone knows by now that me and my friend Chandrayee are like "Tom and Jerry".... I cannot leave Kolkata without meeting her.... her father is still alive.... kaku will be extremely hurt to know if I do so.... I was a mere teen when he used to scold her daughters.... look at S, how she comes and cleans your messy rooms.... well that was a job over the weekend! End of my tour I feel exhausted, tired and irritated specially when the husband asks to limit the visit to15 days and stay put in the neighbourhood Swissotel. I tell him that if he thinks he has that much of wealth to waste, he can get me some platinum jewelry! End of the day he is mine, the son "jigar ka tukra".... I could not ask to extend my ticket to 15 more days for them only. I am this way, last year summer, my ticket was only 3 days after my husband's... yet his family had to hurt me... I wished to come back sooner and cook few meals before they go back... but no, they had to hurt me. I could not even fulfil my wish to get my father one more time here. To all those in-laws who treat their daughter-in-law's family in this manner, re-think or feel the lovelessness! I am not trying to impress the brother's wife either.... we have no expectations from each other ... she told me that she does not want anything from anyone, that she is choosy... I did not buy a single thread for her... My efforts has to be appreciated ... "didibhai" will give her some cash to buy things of her choice... Its for her that my mother is enjoying a queenly status .... problem is that we want everything within a lifetime.... Let life take its own course and let us enjoy a plateful of PALONG DHONEPATA MURGI [CHICKEN WITH SPINACH & CORIANDER.


CHICKEN : 1kg medium cut [I prefer country or the kampong chicken]
FRESH SPINACH : 2 bundle or 250-300gm
FRESH CORIANDER : 2-3 sprigs
GREEN CHILLI : 6-7 [adjust yours]
SLICED ONION : 1medium tea cup
LEMON JUICE : 2-3tbsp
CINNAMON : 3-4 two inch sticks
CLOVES : 2-3
SALT : As Required
OIL : 3-4tbsp
BUTTER : 2tbsp


Wash the chicken pieces thoroughly under running water and marinate with salt, lemon juice, 1/2 of the minced ginger and garlic, turmeric & red chilli powder and salt. Keep aside for an hour or little more covered.

Discard the roots of the spinach, roughly chop. Take on a colander and wash thoroughly! Fill a vessel with warm water and blanch the spinach in it.

Discard the roots of the fresh coriander. Chop and wash. Wash the green chillies too.

Take the washed and chopped coriander, washed, chopped and blanched spinach and washed green chillies together in a blender and blend at high for 2-3 minutes with intervals till smooth.

Heat oil in a wok and temper with a bayleaf, green cardamoms, cinnamon sticks, cloves.

Stir and add the minced garlic and ginger. Stir for a minute.

Add the washed sliced onion and stir fry till it is golden brown.

Add the chicken pieces without the marination and stir at high heat for 3-4 minutes.

Lessen heat to minimum and add the marinade to the chicken.

Cover cook at lowest heat for 15-20 minutes. Uncover and check in between to avoid burning at the bottom.

Open cover and add the garam masala powder and a cup of water. Stir and let boil for 5-6 minutes covered.

Open cover and add the green paste, adjust salt and let cook for 3-4 minutes.

Add 2tbsp of butter and stir. Take down and serve with any kind of bread or rice variety!

Monday, 10 December 2018


Well this correct avatar of a MICROWAVE BEETROOT DHOKLA, steamed gram flour and beetroot juice cake is my fifth attempt at it. Oh God! I was making the same old mistake each time. On the fourth day of my failed attempt were invited three of my friends over an evening tea party! We belong to different age groups, but it never came in our way of sitting together and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee! The four of us were little sister Debarathi, dear friend Ipsita, me and the veteran Padma! Padma Murali is the mother of two adult daughters... one is an engineer and the other is in the university studying public relations, a yoga teacher too! Padma is very helpful, an expert in Tamil recipes and is a published cook book author in the island. She does social service.... teaches English language for free in the temples of this island. I like her but do not sit together often. Ask me why? Our ways are different, I cannot engage myself in religious books or in temple talks all the time. I attended few Gita classes with her and Ipsita, thereafter felt too bored. However, our lunch date at the MTR joint post the Gita class was too tempting. You see, I got a Gita from the Rama Krishna Mission during the Durga Pooja and I will read it as a novel lying on my couch accompanied by snacks and tea / coffee, that snack includes maacher bora and chicken fritter too! I simplify things according to my convenience! I have created a boundary wall around me so that I do not get to mingle too much with anyone, I fear relationships getting sour and bitter! I have seen people kissing each other in a party and then tearing apart each other once they leave the venue, I find no logic in it! Doing this yummy vegetarian snack MICROWAVE BEETROOT DHOKLA is easier than being a part of all these!

You may ask why do I attempt at a Microwave made Dhokla or Idli. The men will not touch them unless there is some meat or fish stuffed in them. I was like them years back, now that I have developed a fondness for Indian Vegetarian Snacks following Mani, I do them but do not wish to spend much time on them. Mani got me to taste dhokla first, the brother will never touch and the father always preferred "muri-chirey-khoier moya, aam dudh kola, naru-nimki to these." The major mistakes I was doing while attempting at this MICROWAVE BEETROOT DHOKLA was that I was forgetting to place it on a water filled bowl and so it was turning hard. All of my three friends told me that they liked it but it was hard. I did have a short discussion with Debarathi whether to blog on it. Then I decided that no, I must rectify my fault, set it right and then go ahead to make it public. After I come back from Kolkata, I will call these girls again and feed them the correct one! At this moment, I am busy shopping for the family! The brother wants simple things but in more variety. The husband's sister does not ask for anything directly but S di must get.... she never joined hands with her mother to make life impossible for me. I have got a Southern Indian style cotton saree for my beloved Iva Dutta Miss .... she has given us the best lessons of life and feeds me "Bagbazaarer Telebhaja... khete bhari moja" whenever I visit her home! The husband never accompanies me, he perhaps thinks that she always loved me more than him, so many times she has asked me to get him along! Then there is another kind who refuses any gift from me in the first instance saying that her daughter-in-laws get her everything. My expression each time is like "I know your daughter-in-laws are Angels".... but I have no connection with that... I believe in one to one relationships in certain cases. I gobble any hurt with a glass of water in cases where it is unintentional, so thinking of playing this prank this time .... "use this anti-wrinkle cream or that lotion or soap and your kids will be surprised to see you on their next visit, haha!" I force few things on her each year, a humble saree, a little of this, that. The two old ladies at home are to get two electronic gadgets they are unable to use properly! "Boromami" gets a soft & supple Korean Silk Saree and oh! one suitcase is already filled. Each time S.Airlines stops us... and you know what kind of choicest words are showered on me by the husband in public. Smiling faces are worth my trouble... I believe! I am yet to buy Cristine's x-mas gift.... so there is a lot of shopping to be done this week.... The husband is not bothered about what I am doing until he has to transfer any extra amount to my account, even digests the embarrassment he faces at the airport. Your intents matter, he knows that his wife will never buy anything secretly for her mother leaving his! I love gifting people but staying within my limits! What will come back with me?.... a couple of things including10-12 sarees, kurtis from Westside, Pantaloons, a mandatory visit and buy from the Government Emporiums housed in Uttarapan if not Dakshinapan.... I visit that happening part of Kolkata may be once for that secret meet. "Logon ko North Kolkata se South jana parta hai yaar.... social ladder ke top mein rehna jo hai.... hum theherey janglee, non-pedigreed".... However, South Kolkata is a newer development, Kolkata's history lies in the North, the best of food too".... We live perhaps in the remote outskirts of Kolkata, but the biggest outlet of Haldiram within 1/2 a kilometre of our home sells the best quality Dhokla... I love it! However, you get that softness and near taste in this MICROWAVE BEETROOT DHOKLA! Juice of two standard sized beetroot was used to prepare Beetroot Malpua & Beet Aloo Gajor er Pur Bhora Porota  and this steamed snack.... great... isn't it? Teatime snack is a very important part of my life...

Let us come to the Recipe!




Take the gram flour  in a bowl and add the plain yogurt to it. Mix well and add the beet root juice little by little to it to form a lump free, smooth, thick batter. 

Add the ginger extract, the normal salt and Eno salt now. Mix well and keep aside covered for 15-20 minutes.

Add the chopped and washed fresh coriander and green chillies to the batter.

Mix it very well again.

Transfer the entire content to a microwave proof bowl. Fill another microwave proof bowl, a little bigger in size with water so that half of the batter filled bowl is immersed in it. 

Now cover the bowl with a microwave proof lid!

Thereafter I forgot to click the rest of the steps. I was simultaneously busy with the Beet Root Malpua because my loves has to have something they love. That is not an excuse though.

Now place it inside the microwave and microwave at high for 5-6 minutes.... Please do check with your machine's power... it differs.

Rest it for sometime and then take it out. Meanwhile we have tempered 1tsp of heated oil with black mustard seeds and curry leaves. Pour it evenly on the dhokla / steamed gram flour & beetroot cake. 

Pour the lemon and sugar syrup all over, 1tsp at a time. Garnish with shredded coconut. Enjoy with your tea and coffee!

Friday, 7 December 2018


I keep wondering that I have a PAN FLAVOURED RASMALAIGOLAP BHOGNOTUN GURER ROSHOGOLLABAKED ROSHOGOLLA WITH MANGO .... all these recipes shared in this blog but not the basic ROSHOGOLLA [COTTAGE CHEESE BALLS IN SUGAR SYRUP] share till date! How come? This picture was taken last year while preparing the pan flavoured rasmalai.... then I forgot totally about it because I was not satisfied with the pictures. Not that I am happy with any of my food pictures but this one did not catch my eyes at all. Roshogolla or cottage cheese balls in sugary syrup does not happen on a regular basis at this home, neither did I remember to click some decent photos. I was in fact all set to share that winter dal recipe today with my readers, then changed my mind and thought okay lets go ahead with the Bengali Dessert, we can change the pictures later. "abhi koi marshmallow ki picture dikhayegi to aisehi reaction hone wali hai..... chibai te chibai te mari byatha hoiya jaiga, bhangeo na, goleo na.... jibbar swad ta noshto hoia jai" haha!..... As a kid I was not a fan of ROSHOGOLLA [COTTAGE CHEESE BALLS IN SUGAR SYRUP], I always love fried sweets ... prefer a pantua to it or a chitrakut.... Roshogolla was force fed as the parents considered it a healthier dessert option! The son however tasted an ice-cream and roshogolla when he was three months old.... there after Roshogolla was his evening food for a couple of years.... till date he loves it, we are a dessert loving family which includes ice-cream! Once away from home, he has to eat those tinned ones unless he gets an Indian girl friend who loves to cook way too much and makes our son her guinea pig..... Yes, mothers are like that.... they want their son-in-law to carry their daughter on his lap and the daughter-in-law to cook at least 3-4 dishes every day for her son and serve the biggest piece of fish or meat to him..... forgetting that the girl also may wish to have the best once in a while.

I am not in my best spirit, yesterday we were at a party and I had some 41/2-5 glasses of red wine which I should not have given the amount of food intake.... one should not eat too much and too fast while boozing.... back home what happened was inevitable.... the toilet had to be cleaned, a shower had to be taken.... yet the hangover persists. Daughter like Cristine is serving lemon water and I told her that we need to disinfect the toilet together once I am done with the post. Do not worry lah, I will be fine by the afternoon.... ask me why? I got "aar maach and mrigel pona" fresh at the Bangladeshi mart yesterday and young "peyazkoli" too... I am very fond of "aar maacher matha" that is not smelly and I am going to prepare a family recipe with it which requires egg plant and fresh coriander. Now that I got to be free of the burden of counting the number of blog visits, you will get to see all the family recipes in the coming days. However, I did enjoy the Halal Oriental food spread yesterday, abalone, prawn, scallop, braised fish, fish maw and the sago-mango-pomelo dessert! I forgot to click the chicken soup and noodles....

However, end of the day I am a girl from the ROSHOGOLLA [COTTAGE CHEESE BALLS IN SUGAR SYRUP] land who got big roshogollas in academics and basks in the husband's glory. I am not someone to follow but the Bengali dessert retains its glory at this home. I do not follow too much of do's and don'ts in my kitchen.... if you are like me, you will try my recipe without any hesitation! This time I did not use semolina or baking powder as it was done to prepare a pan flavoured rasmalai.... which does not require the sweet to double in size. Only chena / paneer / cottage cheese made at home does work. I am not a roshogolla expert but they are just right, healthy, edible.


ICE CUBE : 4-5






I never can manage a roshogolla with tetra packed milk, so I will always recommend fresh milk for it. There is no "dudh kakur khatal" as in DumDum here, neither a "jhumri mashir khatal" as in Barrackpore.... so I buy fresh milk bottles coming from New Zealand or Australia.

Take the milk in a heavy bottomed vessel and put for boil. Once it comes to boil, add the lemon juice.... 1tbsp at a time and keep stirring with another hand constantly.

As you see the milk getting curdled, switch off the gas oven and add the ice-cubes.

Pour the entire amount on a clean, white cloth placed over a bowl. the whey water can be used in curries and dough. Till date, I do not possess a Dhakai Muslin Saree, unlikely to buy a muslin cloth for the kitchen.

Tie the cloth on to your kitchen tap and let the excess water drain. This may take an hour or so.

Once the water has drained, take down and transfer the content to a plate. We need to knead it for about 10-12 minutes to get a smooth texture. If it feels sticky... go for a sandesh because roshogolla will not happen with a sticky dough.

Now, make table tennis sized balls out of the dough. I have heard about some very good TT Players, however, I did not have decent clothes or looks to be in the venue.... I have full trust in the hear say though!

 While kneading the dough, we will simultaneously prepare the sugar syrup which can never be allowed to get sticky.

Take the sugar and the water in a deep bottomed vessel and bring to boil.

When it has boiled for 3-4 minutes, add the paneer / chena / cottage cheese balls & the green cardamom.

Cover cook at medium heat for 20 minutes.... they should be done and ready to eat.

Transfer to a serving bowl and enjoy! They can be refrigerated too but take out at least an hour before  you consume!