Bengali

Shish palong er chorchori (Spinach shoots mishmash)

7:24 AM


Kolkata, the city of joy is a mystery to many but I have a love hate relationship with this city. As a child I was awestruck with this city's splendour and glamour. Everytime we would visit from our small sleepy university town, the grandeour of the city with it's neon lights and big roads would mesmerise me. I will look at the building with big eyes from our car window and would think for hours about the kind of people who get to live there.


then adulthood happened and I moved cities to realise how dirty, clumsy, chaotic this city is. In Delhi I found solace in its queer quiteness of some areas and throbbing pulse at others. Later I was happy to settle in the modern and urbane Bangalore and when again I had to move back to Kolkata I could not wait to flee...


Now almost 6 years in the city and finally I can see it's hidden beauty, the very heart that beats in all its chaos and noise. It's not about the old houses, it's pompous history or the unique heritage of art and craft...Kolkata is special for its simplicity...the way it invites and absorbs every stranger...the way it is eager to make you a part of its own unique culture...yet the way it lets you be who you are...


Kolkata is pure magic.

and this is where I belong...


Chutney Pickle n Preserves

Gajar Gobi Shalgum Achaar (pickled Cauliflower, Turnip and carrots)

11:27 AM


Before shifting to Delhi I had no idea about the following three things. that parathas could be made with whole wheat flour, pickles could be made with vegetables and Parathas could be eaten on its own. I vividly remember the first time I was served paratha without any sabzi (curry). For me it was unfathomable. How could one eat a dry parathas without some wet curries!!! Back home our triangular paratha breakfast would always always be accompanied with some alur dom and I expected the same when after a hectic day of factory visit ordered some paratha for dinner.

I was residing in a hostel then, a hostel which was built on a facility started by an Ex Army Colonel, who totally wanted the building look like an Army barack with concrete bunk beds and no hot water  even in Delhi's peak colder months. The appointed Ladies hostel warden served his mentality who we used to call Lady Hitler. She would not fumble a bit to fire an MBA student if we even went to our next room after the class. The facility of the ladies hostel, the behavious of the stuff and the food was pathetic to say the least but we tried to cope and devised some tricks to make our life easier. One of them was to get food delivered by the boys living in the adjacent building. There was a twi story hige brick wall that separated the two building. But there was a secret hole in that wall, a lose brick which only the student knew.

Review

Sizzler Festival @Buzz, Taj, Gateway

10:50 AM

Sizzler, the once alien food to many is now a star in almost all good dining facilties. Especially in Winter when the air is redolent with the smell of fresh Komlalebu, comforting Boroline and that quintessential caramely aroma of Nolen gur we crave something sizzling hot. Something that will match the heavy thick  air around us and make us feel comfortable. So what if the temperature never falls below 12C in Kolkata. We need to enjoy our short lived winter with as much winter specials as we can fit in the few days.

So when the invitation from Gateway Kolkata came to KFB, I was more than happy to say yes. Not only because I dint have any sizzler this year but also because I am a sucker of Gateway's Executive Chef Ashis's food. He never ever fails to amaze us with his trade.

 The sizzler festival at Buzz, Taj, Gateway is on till 2nd February'17 as an A la Carte Menu. Available for both Lunch and Dinner.
For booking please call

The menu is as exciting as it could get. Neither I have heard of Southern chicken sizzler or Sheesh Touk sizzler. The platters were as exciting as their amazing taste. We were bowled over by the Kathal ke Gelawat sizzler platter and the Roasted potato with stuffed cottage cheese sizzler that they served in the Vegetarian section. All the sizzler platters came with some Jalapeno rice and their in house multigrain bread which was so very good that you can even finish the meal with that.
Roasted Potato with cottage cheese Sizzler platter

Meat n Poultry

Bone broth

9:50 PM


Its wonderful what 20 minutes of brisk walk in a chilly evening can do to your mood. I am not good at selfcare, I have never been. and with two small kid and plethora of work that needs to be done no matter what i hardly get any time to call my own. But this year I made a concious effort to niche out some 'me time' to do things that makes me happy inside out. and the first I did was to commit to a 20 minutes brisk walk everyday. For the kind of lifestyle I have I know I need to go for a more serious commitment but right now am happy with my small step towards my goal. 

But then most days especially the days when I go out with the day light still there the kids love to tag along. That definitely slows me down as they wonder about everything on our way and ask plethora of questions. It's like a full on blabbering session with one running after the butterfly and the other collecting leaves and flowers, playing with a sprig of twig as an imeginary car steering and what not. Those days definitely my 'all by myself' time is lost but I gain another perspective that us mothers  need to be flexible with our self care routine too. Our precious me time might look different everyday but no matter how disturbed it is we need to carry on and there still would be a certain joy. because we always know it in our hearts that this phase soon will go away and we would all be left to ourselves. 

Bengali

Bhapa Pitha (Steamed Rice dumpling with jaggery and coconut)

4:35 AM


Wish you all a Blessed Poush Sankranti. May the Goddess bless all of us with food and shelter and pray that this coming year no one in this world goes to sleep hungry.

Sorry for again being late in bringing you a new Pithe recipe. I love making them  but this year  my plate is overflowing with work and it definitely is much more than I can chew but just the thought that my work provides for someone keeps me going. It's a responsibility that I cannot say no to at the moment. hopefully in coming times things will improve.

As a food lover, Recipe curator, Pithe making is one thing that I enjoy a lot but evrytime I get myself going I wonder at the sheer labour involved in the whole process. I have never seen Maa, Dida (grandmother) or any older ladies of our home flinch an eye while doing this. 


They would clean, pick, soak, dry, grind the rice all by themselves to make the rice flour that we but readymade from the market. and think of the huge amount in which they used to make these sweetmeats to feed a joint family. Kudos to our traditions and those loving hands for feeding us such amazing food with love and care. This definitely is one tradition that we need to preserve for our coming generation. So here is my recipe for one of the most easiest pithes.

Bhapa pitha is known in different names across communities and region. In Assam this is Ketali pitha/ Tekeli Pitha where it is steamed in the mouth of a ketali/ketli/kettle. Among the Muslims in Birbhum this is Dhupi Pitha or Dhnuki pitha which they steam in matir sora or earthen flat bowls. But it;s almost the same. The process is real simple and quick if you know the process and have the right utensil. 

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