Cakes cookies n savory goodies

Skillet Cornbread

9:41 PM


The Christmas eve is tomorrow and am sure you all are preparing for it in the last minutes. There are such classic bakes to choose from, apart from the traditional plum cake, mince pies there are whole array of cookies that could be baked to keep up with the festive spirit. While nothing announces the arrival of Christmas like a glass of mulled wine and spiced gingerbread mans but many of us vouch by the simple butter cookies decorated with sugar paste. 

This winter seems to be the most hectic one of my whole life. With two weddings in the family and the small baking ventures of mine I was neck deep in baking and decorating cakes and cookies. After all 'tis the season and I enjoyed every minute of it. Was glad to be featured as one of Kolkata's homebaker on Polka Cafe.

Cakes cookies n savory goodies

Orange Olive Oil cake

2:24 AM


I was considering a few of my ready drafts to be posted for Christmas. But nothing suited the joy and happiness that this beautiful festivities bring on. After many a thought I decided on this orange olive oil cake, afterall the citrusy flavours is the toast of the season.

There are plenty of recipes available online. Some belong to the Italian genre where whole oranges are blended and mixed with extra virgin olive oil and almond meal, Some belong to the sponge cake genre with the eggs beaten with a handheld mixer till fluffy and light and then the oil is poured and mixed at the end. 

Cake Orders Kolkata

Christmas cake and cookies orders

10:24 AM

Hi all, sorry for being little irregular on this space. As I have mentioned earlier, after a few years of baking cakes for friends and family finally I have decided to take the plunge and take all sorts of orders. 
 

Christmas is just around the corner and this year we will be taking limited orders for the below mentioned cakes
1. Traditional Rich Plum Cake with wine and caramel

2. Light fruit cake
3. Christmas cake with fresh strawberries and cream
4. Buche de Noel or Chocolate sponge roll with meringue mushrooms
5. Orange and almond cake with chocolate icing
6. Eggless vanilla and chocolate marble cake
7. Orange flavoured tutti frutti cakes


For cookies The below are on offer
1. Decorated sugar cookies
2. oats and coconut cookies with chocolate
3. Candy cane cookies
4. Cashew cranberry shortbreads
5. Ginger bread cookies
6. Real cherry blossom embossed butter cookies

I bake each and every cake at home with the finest quality sugar, butter, cocoa and other ingredients available. The decoration is done by me as well and we only use Wilton or Americolour products. 

The custom cakes are baked after discussing the theme and requirements of the customer and we try our best to match the budget you have in mind.

Products: we make cupcakes, Mini cupcakes, cookies, chocolates, Bespoke cakes, Christmas plum cakes, tea cakes and bread.

Prices: Starts as low as Rs.175/12 cookies to Rs.150 for 6 cupcakes

Min order quantity: min 12 cookies, 6 cupcakes and 1/2 kg cake.

To place your order please mail me to ahomemakersdiary@yahoo.in or call me on 9007055399


Bengali

Mutton Kasha (Spicy curried Goat Meat/ bengali style Bhuna Gosht)

1:48 AM


To continue with my less is more approach let me stop talking and present to you this classic Mutton Kasha recipe. An amazingly aromatic rich and delicious curry with tender pieces of goat meat laced with the warm aroma of Garam masala powder. It calls for a very few ingredients, mostly available in your home kitchen. and if you are twitching your nose looking at the amount of fat in the dish then yes it's spicy, it's rich and definitely it's oily but it makes for a finger licking meal once in a while.

Bengali

Kumro phuler pur bhaja (Stuffed squash blossom fritters)

6:01 AM


Like most of you I love a packed fridge. It's so much better to open your fridge and get swamped with choices. For that matter Saturday is my most favourite day when I go to the market and bring fresh veggies, fruits and herbs for the whole week. With winter slowly creeping in it is flooded with colour and so much rare veggies. Just the other day with Dhenki shaak (fiddle head ferns) I also got Touk Dhyarosh or Rosella flowers. They definitely came home and I spent a whole afternoon being nostalgic and making something that my mother used to make for us. 

Yes, food is memories.

When it comes to veggie shopping I try to follow the memories of how my grand father used to shop. First he would check for the freshest veggies available on that day and then after deciding on them he would buy the accompanying veggies for the meal. for example if he bought spinach then definitely a few pieces of radish, brinjal and taro roots would find their way in his shopping bag, similarly a cabbage will always come home either with fresh peas or an extra fish head. 

This weekend I got fresh Kumro phool or pumpkin flowers. It was so fresh as if the pumpkin patch was just behind the shop. After buying it I headed straight to the fruit vendor to buy a small coconut. When the flowers are this fresh no normal fritter recipe could do, it has to be my grandma's stuffed fritters with coconut, mustard and poppy seeds paste.

Though I have given the measurement for the stuffing but you should just follow your instinct. if you like pungency then add more mustard, you can even discard the poppy seeds paste. Just make sure it tastes good. 

Kumro fuler pur bhaja

Bengali

Dheki shaak or fiddle head fern, a simple stir fry

8:18 PM


Dhenki shaak or fiddle head fern is a vividly green edible fern with a typical coiled tip.There is so much romance associated with this typical vegetable from the northern part of Bengal. I first came to know about it while reading Samaresh Majumdar's novel Uttaradhikar, the first of the trilogy written on a boy called Animesh. The story mainly revolves around the life of Animesh and his life over a period of time set against the rapidly changing social, cultural and political scenario starting after independce. The story is set in the picturesque hilly location of North Bengal against which tthe writer portrayed the simple life of people working in the tea gardens.

Breakfast

Dalia Upma for Seed the Rise

5:00 AM


Seed the rise #seedtherise is an fund raising initiative to support and give back to the Indian farmers, who work day in and day out irrespective of the harsh weather for us to get our daily meals on the table. If you are aware then you might have read about the poor condition of the Indian farmers in many states. The extreme and fluctuating weather conditions, the erratic demand in the market, the changing policies of the importing countries, Price cut and steep competition from other exporting countries are making their condition worse and in many states the distressed farmers are left with no choice but to commit suicide to maintain their dignity. The study says that on an average one farmer commits suicide every 30 minutes. 

In such circumstances Mahindra has come up with this noble initiative to help them overcome the odds. They plan to collect Rs.2 Crore from People and they will match the same amount. The money will go to 5 impactful projects  run by NGOS working towards improving the lives of the farmers and their families. 

Meat n Poultry

Chicken and Noodle soup

9:31 AM


How many times have you heard the words 'keeping it simple', 'less is more' etc etc. If you are an avid Masterchef Australia fan then you know that it's the best advice that the judges like to give the contestant. Respecting the ingredient, it's colour, form. taste, texture, flavour is the key and developing a recipe to celebrate the beauty of seasonal local produce is the mantra of modern day cooking.

Bengali

Coconut, Cashew and Mawa Laddoo

9:40 PM


This laddoo recipe was born just out of the quest to save a crisis. I was newly married and wanted to make narkel naru for Bijoya. After the morning trip to the market to gather the essentials the problem arose when I started scraping the coconut. It was much past it's prime and was hard and fibrous. I knew it could not be turned into a good laddoo. So I looked for options and found a packet of old, unused, unopened pack of powdered milk. All I knew that after half an hour when the hubby came home he was bowled over by the taste and so were all his colleagues a couple of days later. So much so that now a days everyone at home wants me to make this version.

This also makes for a quick Diwali dessert, a saving grace for someone like me. I love cooking and made the usual suspects of Elo jhelo, nimki and jibe goja for Bijoya but after the Diwali cleaning and decoration never feels like making something special. This year the feeling is worse as without the husband the festivities are never enjoyable. I feel like doing everything for the sake of the kids and their happiness. But it's Diwali afterall. Sooner or later you get to be caught up by the Diwali snacks and sweets making frenzy.

So without far ado here is the easy and quick recipe.

And the pictures are inspired by a picture Lakshmi Arvind shared on her page Celebrations Decor from Pinterest.

Coconut-Cashew-Mawa Laddoo

Bengali

Chire Bhaja or Chivda

12:05 AM


Diwali is just around the corner and before the chance is lost for this year let me start this post with Shubho Bijoya greetings. Sorry for being so late but I always find it difficult to get back to the groove after the vacation, however mini it is, coming back from home is never easy.

Food Panda Cuisine Week: North Indian

8:21 AM


North Indian Cuisine with its ruby red hue, velvety gravy and  heavy handed use of spices and aromatics is a delicious affair.for all the five senses. The word Curry for which india is so known for in the World, belongs to this cuisine. Think of Butter masala, chicken Tikka, Dal Makhani, Dum Alu...The dishes that have made India reach the Global table were born in this region. undoubtedly North Indian cuisine is our biggest export and contribution to the World palate.

Most probably the fact that it has something to offer to everyone has made it so popular all over the World.
For example if you are someone like me with two small kids then you will start with ordering less spicy food like naan, pulao, dal and malai kebab for them and then feel free to immerse yourself in the more complex, sinful gravies that this cuisine offers. Undoubtedly The way North Indian food satisfies your senses no other food can do.

As a food loving family, we love to dine outside at fancy restaurants but with two kids at tow at times it really becomes stressful. So on a lazy weekend our best bet is to call for home delivery. and with foodpanda's App it has become very easy for us to do so. First you are spoilt for choices, from Lazeez, Bedouine, Ta'am, Chawla's to Aminia almost all the good restaurants in and around our area are offering their services through this app, against a very' min order amount' and in most cases without any extra delivery charges.

You could see the menu, order and pay online sitting in the comfort of your home, without going through the whole ordeal of changing clothes and being ashamed of your kids for ruining the ambience of the restaurant. Not to forget the service is very prompt and professional.

As for the pocket pinch be assured to get great deals with the coupons offered by the Foodpanda App.If that is not reason enough then let me tell you, that you can even pre-order and Pay cash on delivery.

The last time I ordered our favourite biriyani and kebab from Nausinjan, it got delivered in little over than an hour, that too during the most rushed weekend service. We enjoyed our freshly made delicious meal almost piping hot. and most importantly we could lovingly watch the kids enjoying their share all messy and drippy with gravies and crumbs.

https://www.foodpanda.in/
https://www.foodpanda.in/restaurants/cuisines/north-indian

#foodpanda, #FoodPandaCuisineWeekNorthIndian

Bengali

Bok Phool Bhaja (Agati Flower Fritter)

3:28 AM


Yesterday was Mahalaya and hence the count down to Bengal's biggest festivities The Durga puja has started. Right now we are going through the final sorting of the new clothes, accessories, matching bindis, shoes and makeups. A detailed map has been devised to cover the famous pujas around the town along with the pit stops t gorge on the puja special dishes offered by city's famous restauranst. Yes you can feel the suppresses excitement bubbling inside everyone, waiting for Soshti, the first day of Puja to burst open and make merry with friends and families.

Like everyone else I also did my puja shopping. Mainly for the kids, dresses, shirts, denims, matching hairbands, shoes, belts for them but somehow this year all the humdrums around me is not touching me. Nothing, not even the happy faces around me, the twinkling light around the neighbourhood or even the changing cooler weather is making me elated. With the husband away and with so much to take care of am just relieved that 10 days of holidays at least will ensure no waking up at wee hours, not to deal with the bunking house helps, chasing the kids to eat, bathe, sleep, study and everything...

Review

Assam 1860:

12:00 PM


Assam 1860, probably is the newest buzz word of the Tea town. With it's robust, full bodied, strong CTC tea and beautiful packaging it definitely is here to stay.

I was sent a few packets of this CTC blend quite sometime back but with all the travelling and settling down to a new life on my own I totally forgot about it. Finally couls manage to open the packet and make it a couple of days back and honestly I haven't stopped sipping it since then. 

I am not a tea connoisseur but definitely enjoy my tea. Following our long colonial heritage, just cant start my day or go about it without a few cups of good brew. While the morning and evenings are reserved for a strong flavourful  milk tea (no sugar), the mid morning cuppa generally is an aromatic affair with light black tea. Not to mention a couple of cups of green teas in between.

Though I have grown up drinking tea since I was 16 yet taking it seriously came at quite a later stage. At my parents, Tea is made by gallons for all the embroiders, tailors and suppliers who work for my mother. They prefer it strong, milky and sweet. There is nothing fancy about it. and probably that's the reason I never came to appreciate the CTC teas and always made my own combination of CTC to long leaf aromatic tea to get the desired brew. Assam 1860 surprised me in all these categories. First time there is one CTC which is so aromatic yet strong.

For the uninitiated, CTC refers to a method of crush tear curl which quickly gives a dark brew. The robust dark CTC brew takes milk very well and hence is popular Worldwide as breakfast tea. This also is the first choice for making tea bags and masala tea that India is so much in love with. No other tea than the maltier, strong, bright coloured CTC can do justice and unfurl the deep complex flavour that is a pre requisite for making good milk tea.

They say Good tea needs good leaf but at Assam 1860 they believe a good tea is nothing short of Romance."The leaves are plucked, processed and packed in the estate itself, ensuring quality and freshness that is unparalleled. So wherever you are, you might as well be drinking your cup of Assam 1860 on the verdant verandah of the Thowra Bungalow, overlooking graceful rolling greens on our lush terraces."...Yes, it takes the effort of a century and half to make a tea so perfect that makes you fall in love with your cuppa again and again.

And to top that off they have come up with beautifully packaged products. Especially the tea bags, which are made out of linen with stitched edges and neatly packed in a striking black and green pouch are ideal to gift someone who loves her tea.


The Preparation of the Tea: The art of tea brewing is very personal and should be guided by your own palate. But to make a perfect cup of tea you also need good water and milk, especially in India where most areas have hard water or have too much of chlorine in it. To get the best out of any tea use filtered or bottled water. Personally I preferred using 1/3 tsp of Assam 1860 for a cup of Milk or masala tea (no sugar), Which I boiled covered for a minute on very low flame before adding warm milk. 
Surprisingly enough Assam 1860 tea bags are so potent that I used one tea bag to make two cups of my desired brew for black tea. 
To know more or to order online check their website HERE. This is not a paid review.

Curry

Chicken Bharta, Restaurant Style

9:35 PM


October, my favourite time of the year is here again. Yes I love October not only because it's my birthday month or it announces the onset of our biggest festivities around Durga Puja. But October for me is a magical month when suddenly after a long stretch of extreme heat, humidity, incessant rain, waterlogged road, sweat dripping clothes the weather suddenly changes to a beautiful one. Like the touch of a magic wand the gray moody clouds makes way to a fluffier whiter ones on a clear blue sky. Suddenly the wet air turns crisp, the scortching sun  softens, the heavy humid monsoon air becomes redolent with the sweet smell of Shiuli and suddenly on a morning you wake up, look outside and feel happy for no reason.

Yes October with it's clear autumn sky and with the promise that winter is not far by is finally here.

 A change in the season which has so much to look forward to. That  fresh nip in the air, those cute as a button like new cauliflowers in the market, little bauble of dew drops glistening in the morning light and a riot of colour almost everywhere to uplift the withered spirit. After Harsh Summer it gives you a chance to feel alive again and crave for rich spices, warm flavours. It's wonderful how  just a change of weather has the power to rejuvenate everything.

And just because it's October, just because I am happy and just becasue your palette needs a spicy boost up here is my recipe for Chicken Bharta...the real one with deep ruby red oil oozing at the sides, with warm comforting spices and a tongue tantalising taste.

Bengali

Bata Macher Jhal (Labeo bata in mustard gravy)

2:03 AM


Bata or Labeo Bata is a very popular fish in Bengal. Being a fresh water fish native to India and Bangladesh it's favoured by the Bengalis in both these countries. Though it is loved for it's taste yet the fine bones deters some from enjoying them.

The people of Bangladesh, the country of many rivers are a big lover of fish. As much as I have encountered their dishes not much vegetables are cooked without some part of fish in it. Unlike Purba Bangla (Indian Bengalis) Bangladeshi people mostly do not fry their fish steaks before adding to the curry. Mainly because whole of Bangladesh has so many rivers that they always gets the freshest catches and do not have to eat fish which are even a day old. And they cook their fishes in myriad of ways and it's very unfair to categorise all their techniques, recipes under a simple name of Curry, which in my opinion would be World's biggest misnomer.

Our very popular macher jhol in Bangladesh is called Salan, salun or Chan where fish is cooked in simple broth of onion and spices. When veggies are added to it It's called Torkari. Similarly a Salan cooked with mustard is called 'Jhal Salan'. Just how we call Macher jhal when it has mustard in it. I was elated to see my theory of 'it's not macher jhal unless you have mustard in it' being supported by Chef Shoukat Osman of Bangladesh in his book Matsanno. I still believe that's how the differences in recipes were done earlier which with time got faded and named as per one's personal preferences.

In our family we have this rule of frying the fish till it's golden for curries with mustard paste, which to our opinion brings out the best flavour. So here is my quick recipe, Sometimes we also add potatoes to this, especially when we have more people to feed. That way the plates look fuller and everyone gets a taste of it.

Bengali

Bengali Bhaja Platter ( 5 types of Bengali fries)

10:33 PM


If you look up for Bengali Cuisine then you will find Wikipedia saying that " It also has the only traditionally developed multi-course tradition from the Indian subcontinent that is analogous in structure to the modern service à la russe style of French cuisine, with food served course-wise rather than all at once." 
If you look for more then you will find that "Monsieur Daridan, the French Ambassador to India in the 1960's, remarked to his Bengali host in Calcutta that of all the foods in the World, only Chinese and Bengali food could compare with the sophistication of his native fair" (The Calcutta Cookbook)

Yes Bengali meals are probably the only multicourse meals where proper sequence is followed as per the rule of Ayurveda. But not only this if you look closely you will find a sequence is followed in everything from how the dishes would be placed on a plate or how the plate itself is placed in front of the person. Yes there is a traditionally approved method for all this. I remember while shooting for the show Rocky and Mayur's food express I asked Rocky to turn the plate so that the mound of rice is placed on his left. Look at the Thalis in the following picture. We keep a little place at the bottom of the plate so that following the traditional way we could mix each dish with a little rice to consume and taste everything separately. 

Bread Paratha etc

Garlic Knots

10:59 PM


Every night I try hard to make my two kids fall asleep peacefully. It has always been a difficult task but now with the husband being away it has become an herculean one. Every night a lot of effort and time is wasted to make them sleep. In my desperate attempts I start by reading them a bed time story, then I sing all the lullaby I know, I cradle the lil one till my back starts to hurt and then I move to the bed with the toddler on my lap and the first grader by my side. while I frantically move my legs up and down, up and down to rock the baby my right hand tugs and pulls the hair of the sonny boy to give them the comfort they need to fall asleep. and the worst part is till date even after 6 years of being a mother I could not establish a sure shot method to do this. 

Every night I make a fresh start...trying all my ways to soothe their over active nerves...some days I fail and some days are just a tad better.

But this journey of motherhood is not about failure or success. 


Cakes cookies n savory goodies

Chocolate Frangipane Galette with Mosambi Orangette Syrup

11:39 PM


I love to bake and there are hardly any week goes by without me baking something or the other. But ever since I started taking baking orders under the name Homemade I have been busy baking varieties of cakes. Days are spent in whipping up Ganache or Italian meringue buttercream and smoothening the fondant on layers and layers of cake. and to tell you the truth I love doing that. Nothing gives me more pleasure in the kitchen than a pretty cake all made from scratch.
Cakes Baked by me more HERE

Bengali

Shapla Chingri Ghanto (Water lily stems and shrimp with mustard paste) with vegetarian option

4:20 AM


I have written about my foraging and eating wildly grown food experiences here. No point repeating the same but with broken heart I am watching that with the rapidly growing urbanisation and increasing use of pesticides foraging in India is dying a slow death. Also in India foraging is something associated with people with lesser fortunes. The general notion is people who find it difficult to meet the both ends meet go for foraging and well off people do not eat those indigenous greens. 

I also see a lot of wild greens growing profusely around where I live in Kolkata but I know most probably they are seasoned with Dog .... and sewerage water. I for myself dont feel like eating them and rather watch the maids picking them on their way home from work. The same greens are available in my local market where I eagerly buy them with a pestering thought at the back of my mind, whether they are gatherd from similar places. But then I reason that when I cant see there is no point thinking about it. Even the cultivated ones are sprayed with so much pesticide and God only knows how they are grown. If the newspaper reports are to be believed they might as well be inedible by now.

Bengali

Shapla'r Bhyala or a fritter of Water Lily stems in the shape of rafts.

11:09 AM

forage
verb
  1. 1.
    (of a person or animal) search widely for food or provisions.
    "the birds forage for aquatic invertebrates, insects, and seeds"
noun
  1. 1.
    food such as grass or hay for horses and cattle; fodder.
    synonyms:fodderfeedfoodfoodstuffherbagepasturageMore

  2. 2.
    a wide search over an area in order to obtain something, especially food or provisions.
    synonyms:scavengehuntsearchlookexplorationquestscoutprobe
    "a nightly forage for food"
Foraging, the search for wild organic food is definitely an ancient method of arranging a meal. Earlier it was the way of life but now a days it's an activity undertook only by a handful of people.  Though for some it's a way to have some fun in the Sun but most of them are serious gatherers and the knowledge they posses is really really astonishing. I right now am kicking myself everyday for not looking up for local forage club while I was in USA, where it is practised quite extensively by the like minded people.

The world of foraging is very fascinating in itself. Going out to the woods in search for something edible is very exciting. At the same time it's an wonderful way to bring your kids back to nature and showing them where their foods come from. But like everything else in life you need to be responsible about it. Responsible in the sense of knowledge of whats edible and not and also responsible in the sense of respecting the nature, opting for sustainable gathering which will allow the plants to regrow and the wild animals to have their food. Knowledge of right identification of plants is very important if you undertake foraging. With time we have lost touch with nature and much of our ancient knowledge of identifying edible greens have faded away. So getting a few tips from the expert before you start is very very important for your well being. 


Bengali

Patol Charchari (Mishmash of veggies with Pointed gourd)

10:50 AM


No other part of India has such big a love affair with patol/parwal/ pointed gourd as Bengalis do. So much so that when away from home, they can walk a mile, early in the morning in search of this vegetable. Yes I did that every Saturday morning. Woke up at 5.30 to drag myself to the Madiwala market in Bangalore to happily pick my share from a big bucketful of water. No, not the freshest ones, but who cares when you at least is getting it.

Summer for Bengalis means the big arrival of Mangoes and Patol. If you ask me Patol is the saving grace of spending summer in Bengal. The heat and humidity some days soar so high that it becomes almost impossible to have an appetite and on those days this light watery vegetable saves us. A runny ginger-cumin laced Alu patoler jhol will boost your energy and you will feel alive after having your afternoon siesta following that. And on not so hot days you can do a not so light curry like Chal patol, patoler dolma or shahi patol. 

Breakfast

Chirer Polao (Beaten rice with veggies) and Bengali Breakfast

8:19 PM

I am often asked about recipes for Bengali breakfasts and miserably fail to give a satisfactory answer. Though Luchi-alur torkari or Prota-Alur dom could pass as the epitome of Bengal's most favoured dishes for the morning but they are definitely reserved for special occasions. Unlike the Punjabi's or people from Delhi we Bengalis do not have a culture to go out as a family even on weekdays or order in Kulcha chana, Alu Paratha or puri sabzi from the local Halwais (sweet shops). We do have our versions of Kachori and cholar dal but no one absolutely no one orders or eats them on a regular basis.
Kachori Potato Curry. Picture Courtesy Somnath Roychowdhury. You must Follow him on Instagram(streetgobbler) for more information about street food around Kolkata and much more.
So the question remains the same. What does a Bengali eat for breakfast? And I believe the answer must be divided in two parts. What a Bengali eat at home on a regular basis and what a Bengali can eat if he/she wishes to have the breakfast from shops.
From Left to Right: Quarter pound bread with Malai, Omlette-Toast, Toast-butter-sugar
Picture Courtesy Somnath Roychowdhury. You must Follow him on Instagram(streetgobbler)
 for more information about street food around Kolkata and much more.
As a result of the long Colonial era we have pretty well adopted the style of an English Breakfast. The toasts, Eggs in many forms, Jam or Butter and fruits along with a glass of milk or tea mostly are found on the breakfast table across the middle as well as upper class families early in the morning. People who cannot afford it or have the power to digest gluten in the morning solely relies on Puffed rice or Muri. Yes across Bengal this is one thing that features on the breakfast menu. Sometimes with Ghugni (yellow peas curry), sometimes with chanachur (Bombay mix) or sometimes with plain milk and sugar. This is ubiquitous breakfast staple across all strata of people. The Muri Telebhaja or deep fried goodies like Peyanji, Beguni, Singara or Alur chop is another option mostly available in newspaper packets with a few shake of black salt and a free piece of green chilies at the roadside cha er dokan (tea shops).
Petai parota, Telebhaja Picture Courtesy Somnath Roychowdhury. You must Follow him on Instagram(streetgobbler) for more information about street food around Kolkata and much more.
The same shops will also offer quarter pound white breads, cut in half and toasted on charcoal fire. Which often is paired with a plate of runny ghugni sprinkled with chopped onion and green chilies or the malai (skin of milk) freshly gathered from boiling the milk. Some sweet shops even offer Pita  or Petai parota, a soft flaky form of paratha/ flat bread prepared by slapping the flattened dough on a slab of stone for quite sometime. Which in turn activates the gluten so much that one can roll and stretch it thinner than a high quality paper. The resultant paratha which is almost like a dying art is soft, light and little chewy. The best accompaniment to these parathas is the leftover chasni or sugar syrup from the Rasgullas or spicy potato curry. 
                        

At home the stories are different though. Like any thoughtful mother Bengali moms also want their kids start their day on a healthy note. So it's mostly toasts-milk or Muri dudh kala (puffed rice, milk and banana). Also after the green revolution Rotis (Indian unleavened flat bread) has grabbed a permanent place in some family's breakfast table. In summer with Alu bhaja or leftover torkari from last night's dinner and in Winter with steaming hot Kumro chenchki or bati torkari is something which even I look forward to some days. Tearing soft pieces of rotis and rolling them with just out of the pan curries is quite satisfying on a lazy morning.

Curry

Sorshe Posto Dim (Eggs in a Mustard-Poppy seeds gravy)

10:23 AM


So finally I let go of my kitchen to another person. A cook to be preise who will come and cook our daily meals. For the longest period of time I was quite adament to do it on my own, no matter what. But finally with the husband on an offshore project, one super active toddler, one 6 years old with loads of homework, one old and sick father who refuses to have his meals unless a full platter of 5 items are served with his rice and the tremendous heat and humidity making me sick... I was forced to take this decision.

Yes, I was sad but finally realised it's better than running around and screaming like a headless chicken the whole day. It's better to have some more time to the day, tending to the father, playing with the toddler, studying together with the kid, developing more recipes and taking more orders for homemade bespoke cakes, cookies, chocolates and other edible gifts. Yes am doing that for quite sometime for people I know personally but now it's time I spread it and accept more orders. and hopefully another big work is in pipeline...working towards my own line of handmade home accessories and apparel.

Rice

Lemon Rice

11:41 AM


This quick recipe is a lifesaver for me on many nights. Sometimes it's 7 in the evening and I have no clue whats for dinner. I guess it happens to all of us on somedays. when the whole day's work makes you dizzy and all you want is to snuggle up on the bed and doze off. but being a mother means those options are just out of your dictionary. So you still have to cook, you still have persuade your kids to finish their meal and God forbid if you have a toddler then you still have to chase them, cajole them and make them eat whatever is in the plate. Trust me that's a lot of work.

Meat n Poultry

Kerala style Chicken Roast

3:06 AM


It's not a secret that I love food from Kerala. My kitchen is bursting with all kinds of ingredients and equipment needed to cook dishes from this region. Every now and then Appams, Idiyappams, Mutta curry, Chicken roast, Kadala curry grace our dinner table and make us all happy. After a soul satisfying meal of Shukto, posto, macher jhol my next best comforting meal would be rice, sambhar, Rasam, thoran, fish fry and papad. Like a true Keralite food lover, I love my dishes hot and spicy laced with the tongue tickling aroma of curry leaves.

Desserts and Sweets

Peanut and Chocolate Barfi

7:31 AM




The festival of sibling bonding or Raksha Bandhan is just a few days away. Raksha Bandhan literally means 'to tie a knot of protection'. This ancient festival revolves around the idea of strengthening the bind between brothers and sisters through a symbolic thread that the sisters tie around their brother's wrist. They for their brother's well being and the brothers promise to look after and protect her. The Rakhi in question could be a simple red and yellow died thread or a fancy one. 

With the current market looking for opportunities, there is no dearth of varieties in that section. Gone are those days when we painstakingly made rakhis from Chiffon thread, shaped, designed and decorated it with beads and lace. 

Snacks

Mathri recipe and a piece of Childhood memory

11:25 AM


We had to cross a big road just before entering our school gate. There were enough number of bumpers on either sides to make sure the speeding buses and trucks drop the speed and also n numbers of signboards for them to slow down, yet it was a major concern for us to cross it twice everyday. Vehicle or no vehicle we would obviously do the customery 'look on both sides before you cross the road' regime. 

Our bus stop had a huge Bokul tree (Mimusops Elengi) with thick lush foliage and fragrant star shaped flowers, was aptly named Bokultola (under the Bokul tree). The moderate concrete pathway from Bokultola to the main road had a Grill gate with a pink flower laden coral creeper waving through it's design.

 Like any place in Santiniketan at least like how it was in the early 90's this road was surrounded by rows of trees on both sides. creating an alternative pattern of light and shadow during the afternoon time. Especially the Tamarind tree on the opposite side to the school gate was so huge that it always caste deep dark shadow on the whole school gate. With it's exposed roots running through the sides of the road in a crisscross wavy design acted as a makeshift sitting area for vendors or passengers waiting for their rides.


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