Thursday, April 21, 2016

Paneer and Veg pulao and Boondi Raita


Remember just a few months back I was talking about appointing a cook, well the news is she suddenly left the job this month due to shifting to another place. Which leaves me in a queer position not knowing whether to be happy or sad. 

Happy because she bunked most of the days especially on days when you needed her the most she would not be seen anywhere near our place. Also she used too much oil, read more than 7 liters per month for a family of four, and always made sure to cook a huge batch for us to eat leftovers for at least a couple of days. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Pabda Macher Jhal and keeping your kitchen clean


Wish all my readers and foodie friends 'Shubho Nabobarsho'. May this year fulfill all your dreams and keep you safe and healthy.

Poila Boisakh or Nabobarsho brings back loads of memories from childhood. The first Nabobarsho after  I started reading bengali I was surprised to see it written as ' 1 la Boisakh'. One in Bengali is 'Ak' which is also known as 'Poila' but instead of Poila I read it 'Akla' which means lonely. For quite few days following that I was in deep thought as why a day when people come to your home to celebrate and wish is so lonely. Too much for a 5 years old's innocent mind I guess. It was much later that I could understand the meaning. 

Friday, April 8, 2016

Nabobarsho, the traditions and must dos

A quintessential proverb in Bengal says, Bangalir baro mase tero parbon which literally means Bengalis celebrate more festivals than there are months. and amongst those numerous festivals Nabobarsho or the first day of Bengali year Baisakh is very important. In this changing time its one of those quintessential celebration that revolves around pure Bengali ways of life.

While growing up the elders instilled the thought that whatever you do or get on this day will keep on happening to you the year around. Following which we always wore new clothes and shoes and ate good food.  And somehow that belief has stayed on with me. I keep telling my kids to be and to do good on this very first day to get good results in life.

As a true blue Bengali Nabobarsho is much more important for me than New year. For me it's the tradition which is more important so one of the must dos for me is to make handmade cards. not one, not two but plenty of them to wish 'shubho nabobarsho' or happy new year to all my dear one. We touch the feet of our elders to pay our respect and seek their blessings. For those who do not live nearby we call them up and wish them a happy healthy and prosperous year ahead. We also go to the Mandir to seek blessings from the almighty, after which the prasad is distributed between family and friends.

Another tradition that I follow is to visit the shops which I frequent all year around and wish them good for Halkhata or the new account ledger for new year. Its an important tradition as earlier families used to maintain due accounts for their monthly purchases, all payments were cleared at the beginning of every month. and On Nabobarsho everyone is supposed to clear their yearly dues and start a new ledger called Haalkhata. Though in this modern time Haalkhata is becoming obsolete yet business establishments follow the tradition and welcome customers with sweets and new calendars. 

After that comes new clothes. It's a tradition to buy, wear and gift new clothes on this auspicious day and also one needs to have an iron strong willpower not to give in to the temptation of Choitro sale or end of the year sale. Which throws Bengalis to their most popular shopping sprees after puja . 'Shop till you drop' is the mantra of the month and sometimes the shopkeepers have to play the role of a referee to resolve the fight between two Bengali women over who saw that last piece of Dhakai saree first. I love my Choitro Shopping and buy loads of summer clothes for the entire family and some dear friends. But No matter what we purchase we always wear traditional clothes like saree, kurta-pyjama etc to channel our inner Bengali Babu/bibi vibe.

No festival is complete without an elaborate meal for us Bengalis. And the order of Nabobarsho is a pure Bengali meal of Pulao and Mangsho, a rich rice and meat combination followed by chilled mishti doi. Enough to send one to food coma.

Cleaning and decorating is also very important as we truly believe a new day must start on a new slate. and Nabobarsho being the advent of Summer, cockroaches and ants almost start to take over our entire house during this time. They are a big health hazard as they contaminate food and causes diarrhea and food poisoning. For me nothing works like Godrej Lal hit which with its deep reach nozzle can spray even at the remotest corner of the kitchen and make it insect free.

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Disclaimer : This post is written in association with Godrej HIT. 


Thursday, April 7, 2016

Chef's Basket Recipe kit; Cheesy Alfredo Pasta


As much as I love being the homemaker that I am, planning, shopping, cooking and taking care of my home and family, yet there are days when I do not even feel like getting off the couch. I believe all of you have such moments when you know there are hungry mouths which needs to be fed, and being the perfect mother you are food cannot be just anything but a scrumptious, nutritious one . but you don't have an iota of energy to get up and go through it. So what do you do on such days?

The new trend of meal in a box or recipe kits fit such bills perfectly. So when Chef's basket wanted me to review their new meal kit I became curious and wanted to give it a try. Below are my findings.

The Box: The box consisted of 5 separate packets. a small packet of penne, a pack of Pasta sauce, 3 small packets of chili flakes, Italian mixed herb seasoning and sea salt.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Dumurer Dalna (Indian wild fig curry with potatoes)


As kids we learnt a lot of things from proverbs used in daily lives. Whether we have even seen that thing or not we at least knew that such a thing exist and sometimes when inquisitive we also asked our parents to know more about it. Proverbs were a big part of our growing up days, used by parents, uncles, acquaintances and mostly by my grand mother. Who had a large repertoire of proverbs, at least one perfectly fitting one for each occasion.