Mixed grain rice and pan seared Gandhoraj chicken Buddha Bowl

8:24 PM


Buddha Bowl is a wonderful concept where you pile up a bowl with your choice of grain, veggies and other accompaniments resembling the tummy of a laughing Buddha. The idea definitely is to include more ingredients from each food group with minimal processing to make it quick, balanced and nutritious. If you are someone  who wants her weekday meal sorted under 30 minutes then Buddha bowls are definitely for you. Depending on your choices you can change it to suit your requirements, like if you have more time or you want a fancy bowl of goodness then add more items to your bowl, if you are on specific kind of diet then you can make it grain free by adding cauliflower rice/ spiralised zuchhini or carrots or sweet potato, you can make it vegan by replacing the protein with tofu or lentils etc.

Review

Amar Khamar and some lost varieties of Bengal's own rice variety.

10:33 PM

I found Amar Khamar through Insta and could not help but appreciate the way they are trying to celebrate one of Bengal's most important crop- The Rice. Which obviously for us Bengalis is not only a crop but a whole range of products that had sustained us from time immemorial.
So when a few weeks back Sarah from the organisation reached out to me I was keen to know more. Over a cup of coffee we discussed how they are trying to revive the Bengali indigenous rice varieties by working closely with farmers, Self help groups and the specific weather and present soil condition of 24 parganas. which took a worng turn when in 2009 the cyclone Aila hit the area and the inflow of saline water made the land unfit for agriculture . Add to that the growing need of polished high yielding quick cooking variety that made the indigenous rice grains vanishing from the Bengali map.
Though they try to connect the world to some unheard of rice varieties through the help of world wide web and social media but their faith in food and food security goes beyond that. They try to educate the farmers to grow sustainably and using environment-friendly methods of organic farming. As a result indigenous local seasonal food lovers like me are over joyous to see products that we have heard only in story books or in fables.
If you think am exaggerating then hear the name of the varieties they are brinigning to the market right now. Khejur chori, Kalo Nunia, Chinakamini, Talmugur, rani akanda, Chamormoni, Kalabhat-some of the most fascinating names and each grain is different in taste, texture and mouthfeel.
Apart from Rice they also are offering Mung or yellow lentil and turmeric powder.
I would be posting a few recipes with their rice varieties in my next posts. Recipes with which I tried to do justice to these unique grains and recipes that are easy and nutritious.
In the mean time why dont you go and meet the amazing farmers at Amarkhamar page and their youtube link in the below links
Website where you can order: https://amarkhamar.com/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSWb7UPEMop4b43n7zx7QNw
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amarkhamar/?hl=en

Disclimer: This is not a sponsored post. 



Bengali

Patpatar Bora (Jute Leaf Fritter)

9:00 PM


Yes, One more jute leaf recipe is here as I could not finish the big bunch that my brother sent from home.

This is one of the most common recipe of jute leaf prepared all through Bengal.The Slimy texture of the leaves are best dealt by deep/ pan frying. Everyone at home love this recipe with the regular dal-bhat-mach (Rice-lentil-fish). Often when my father is home I have to add very finely sliced onion to the batter as he is averse to any fritters made with leaves, (some people never grow up I tell you ).

Bengali

Pat shaker jhol (Mulukhiyah)

8:37 PM


I am not sure if I could interchangeably use the term Mulukhiyah for Pat shaker jhol, but the ingredients, cooking process and taste is so uncannily similar that after some serious thought I decided to do so.

Mulukhiyah is an Egyptian dish which I first saw on a beautiful program on BBC called a Cook Abroad. It was one of those off the beaten path food shows where real food of different countries were showcased with the history behind it. On the Egypt episode the presenter Dave Myers (Hairy bikers fame) travelled to the Nile valley and prepared this dish at a farmer's place. I was truly taken aback to see the cooking process. Exactly how maa cooked Nalte shaker jhol. In Egypt they call it 'Asharifa' meaning the noble one. This nutrient rich dish was even mentioned in ancient Egyptian cuisine that dates back to thousands of years. 

Now if you have ever eaten or dealt with Nalte or Paat Shaak (scientific name Corchorus olitorius) then you know how slimy this is. For this reason this green is mostly cooked as a bawra or fritter or is just stir fried with spices. My Mother who was an artist and was running her own handicraft business discovered and learnt this from the many rural women worked in her workshop. In rural parts of Birbhum district these are always cooked as a green soupy dish. We were told that the Muslims of this region prefered to cook it with meat but the Hindu families cooked it just by boiling and tempering it with lots of garlic and chilies...just the way it is done in Egypt.

Bengali

Aam Sorshe Ilish -Hilsa with raw mango and mustard

11:23 PM


It's that time again.

It's that time again to smell the petrichor, to forget umbrellas and then chase the rain with your hair flying in all directions, to snuggle on the bed when the thunder storm roars outside, to splash in the muddy puddle with the kids and not feeling guilty about it, To feel melancholic under the overcast sky, to have moods wings and follow the rainbow for happiness, to walk aimlessly drenching in the untimely drizzle, to make paper boats and see it whirl down the drain,  to gulp endless cup of masala tea and still feel thirsty...
And if you are a Bengali then to put a potful of bubbling khichuri on the stove and scour the market for the best Hilsa available.

Yes! It's monsoon again and we have a lot of catching up with our lives. It's time to slow down and smell the fresh moist air and follow our hearts-even only for a day.

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