Cake Orders Kolkata

Ginger Bread cookies with royal icing

7:44 AM


Some days I feel very ancient as if I or rather my generation belong to some other time. Just the other day when my almost 8 rolled his eyes when I told him that we grew up watching only one channel or the time my niece rolled out laughing when I fleetingly mentioned that we used to study with kerosene lamps every evening as power cuts were very rampant in our childhood or the time when my neighbour's son found me lunatic when I told him we dint have pizza or pasta in our childhood. It is as much difficult for them to visualise that simple time as it is for me to believe how much has changed in such short span of time.

But am glad when every year during Christmas these same little ones of the family write their wishlists to Santa. At least there are some things that even time cannot change. The magic of Santa is one of them...The same stories of an old man who lives in North Pole and on every Christmas Eve he comes down the chimney and leaves them a gift has wooed her grand parents, her parents and now hers...It's a fable with which we have been fed and now we feed our children many unliked morsels and make them do things that they detest.

For me Christmas is very special. May be because I grew up in a town where Poush Mela (falls around 25th December every year) was more important a celebration than Durga puja and attending Khristotsav (an event celebrating the birth of Jesus in Santiniketan with prayers and music) every year provided solace to my young soul in an unknown way. and there's nothing like these ginger bread cookies that spell Christmas to me. 

They are full of warm spices like ginger, nutmeg, allspice, clove and cinnamon thats complemented with a dark earthy colour lent by caramely brown sugar and smoky molasses. Nothing could be more comforting in winter than sharing a cuppa and these cookies with your loved ones overlooking a foggy wintry morning.  For me they are like a giant hug encapsulated in bite size portions. It comforts and warms you up from inside. If handmade gifts are the best then be assured that receieving a bag of these cookies means you are very special to them.

Bengali

Hingche shaak er bora or batter fried wild greens

10:21 AM


Both I and my husband have our roots in the rural areas of Midnapore district. When we were born the district was united and was known as Midnapore unlike today when its bifurcated in two parts, Purba (East) and Paschim (west) Midnapore. While he grew up in a quaint, little, not so developed village in Paschim part, When I was little my parents moved from our coastal village of Purba Midnapore to Santiniketan. But both of us spent a considerable part in our ancestral home and hold thee places very close to our heart.

Last week we went to his village to attend a wedding in the family. I love this serene place, far away from the hustle and bustle of any city life. The nearest town is 30 minutes drive and the village enjoys a tranquil and peaceful life. Most families own some piece of land which is very very fertile and enjoy a three time harvest of rice, sesame, potato or mustard. They might not be very well off but nor do they go to bed hungry. Life is simple, uncomplicated and people have time to enjoy with each other.

Bengali

Narkel die cholar dal and Winter morning breakfast tales

7:36 AM


Maa no matter how busy she was always made it sure that we eat well. Eating well for her not only meant balanced nutritious freshly made food but also food that creates memory. for a mother of three and a handicraft business owner this was not easy. So she had to wake up at the crack of dawn and then by some magic wand when Baba would help us with our studies, she would finish making 3 - fresh curries and something wholesome for our snack box ready by the 8.30. All three of us kids and baba used to leave by 9 and before that we were massaged with oil, bathed, dressed, fed and sent off to catch our school bus. Now that am living the same life I just wonder how she did it without chanting my mantra 'ar parina (can't do anymore)' several times a day.

Bengali

Dak Bangalow Chicken Curry

9:18 AM


From Time immemorial the fertile lands of Bengal has lured many traders and settlers. If you look at Bengal in the World map then you will find that not only it's the gateway to the Eastern parts of the Indian subcontinent but also has the shortest distance from any port (Bay of Bengal) to the Himalayan foothills (the Silk route). No wonder the traders have always found Bengal a convenient place to settle in, as carrying their goods through the sea and trading through Silk Route was way easier than any other place.

Apart from this huge geographical advantage The Ganges Bramhaputra Delta, the biggest of it's kind in the whole world, that had one of the most fertile land made Bengal another advantageous place. History has witnessed this land could grow almost all commercial crops like Indigo and opium so very profitably. Add to that the exquisite craftsmanship of Bengali weavers and their finest quality of Muslin which at one point of time made Bengal the foremost muslin exporter of the world.

Cakes cookies n savory goodies

Apple Pie

11:46 PM



I love different seasons and the changes they bring with them...changes which are not always very pronounced in our part of the world yet evry season is different and beautiful in its own way. I love the time when a season melts into another one... how their specific attributes slowly fades away with a promise to come back again next year. It fills me with hope and anticipation, fond memories from last season floods in whispering promises of all that is yet to come. I feel giddy and emotional at the same time. Giddy to create new memories, new traditions...emotional to retrace the same path I took to happiness and in the process create more memories for my kids to look back with a smile on their face, to look at each season with new joy and new hope.

Review

Chettinad food festival at Buzz, Taj Gateway

9:47 PM


The region of Chettinad, which is famous for its architecture, religious temples, the lavish lifestyle of the Chettiars (business community) also has a rich culinary history. The cuisine is considered as the most spiciest yet most aromatic cuisine of India. No wonder Buzz at Taj gateway who always try to bring out the hidden gems of Indian culinary repertoire chose this food for their recent festival. 

The menu is curated under the expert guidance of Chef T.Jabaraj from Chennai. He along with the executive chef Asish has tried to bring out some rare delicacies to the food connoisseurs of Kolkata. Buzz personally is one of my favourite food destination in town as I know that while other restaurants strives to consistently deliver good food Buzz never fails to overwhelm one's expectations. 

Bengali

Tilapia Jhal {Tilapia in spicy mustard gravy}

6:40 AM


It's a quiet Sunday morning here at home. Very unlike our normal weekends. While the hubby is busy with his hobby of woodwork am finding it difficult to concentrate in work. it;s amazing to see how the absence of one person changes everything. The sonny boy is not home, yesterday he requested us to let him go with his uncle who was leaving for Shantiniketan after bhaiphonta. My instant reflex was to say no but then I knew I should. It's been long that he went anywhere. With so many changes, our life is very very stressful at the moment. No matter how much we try to keep our kids away from these but he is growing and can sense when things go wrong.

Desserts and Sweets

Kaju katli in fruit shapes (Cashew nut fudge)

9:48 AM


Every year before Diwali she would call me with a patent question, 'What are you making?' and to annoy her I would reply, 'nothing maa, will buy something from the shop'. I knew this would irritate her and could almost see her smirk with disgust. After that would come a series of lecture ending with another patented emotional dialogue with a deep sigh, 'I wish I could send you some homemade sweets, but I am so far away...' Yes every year she would almost force me to make some homemade sweet for her grandson and son in law who are lactose intolerant and while I knew I would oblige her, yet I could never let this chance go to annoy and irritate her.

....This year I just remembered that and started grinding the cashews she got me in March. The last stash from her and somehow I wanted to make something very special with them. Not my usual cashew barfi that I make every year but something special, bright and glittery like her soul which brought joy to all of us. 

I made cashew fruits this Diwali Maa, something that your grand kids and Jamai adored. Hope this makes you happy.

Snacks

Oats Tikkis and Fire roasted red pepper sauce

1:00 PM


You know its Diwali time when your facebook and blogger feed gets flooded with various sweets and snacks recipe. So much so that you need to kick your lazy self and get something going in the kitchen. I had no intention to make anything this year. The aggravated work pressure doesnot allow me any free time to even think and plan anything for this blog. I keep telling myself things will change soon but I keep struggling to fit in all thats needed to be done in the 24 hours frame.

Bread Paratha etc

Rustic Italian Bread and Roasted Red Peppers

8:41 AM


It seems winter would be early this year, not that am complaining but definitely worried about the erratic behaviour of the weather. Last year hardly there was any day when the temperature dropped below the usual and this year it's not even Diwali but there is a quite visible nip in the air around the evening time. And as usual like every other year it makes my heart happy. 

Bengali

Kheerer Malpoa (Malpua)

6:08 AM


Today is Bijoya Dashomi the last day of Durga Puja, when after a few days of vacation at her parents the Goddess goes back to Lord Shiva in Kailas Mountain. In every way it marks the end of  the five day festivities all around Bengal. So while other parts of India celebrates Dussera with aplomb, a strange gloomy feeling surrounds Bengal and Bengali. After all the preparation, anticipation, pandal hopping, dressing up Dashomi makes us overwhelmed with mixed emotions.While our heart yearn for one more day of Puja frenzy, our mind assures us 'asche bachor abar habe' to wait for the puja next year. 

Review

Nolen Gur ice cream from Mother Dairy

11:46 PM


No matter how much we believe in eating local and seasonal food but its a proven fact that a sight of any loved ingredient which is not in season brings exquisite joy. The same thing happened to me when I saw Nolen gur ice cream on a hot sultry monsoon afternoon. And the joy knew no bound when I discovered it’s from one of my most trusted brand Mother Dairy. I grew up eating their dairy products and follow the same with two kids. Without doubt it’s like our most trusted source of all things dairy.

Review

This Durga Puja Say no to food poisoning with Godrej Lal Hit

2:19 AM

The month September is very important for Bengalis. No matter in which corner he lives this month will make his inner bong come to life. In the cooler climates with the advent of fall and that chill in the air he still will dream of the balmy weather in Bengal and the smell of new clothes. Just looking at the calendar and realising ‘pujo ese gelo (pujo is near)’ will make him oblivious to his surroundings and long to come back home.

Yes, for us Bengalis Durga puja is synonymous to Home Coming. While Figuratively the festival honours Maa Durga coming home to her parents but in spirit it’s an inspiration to all Bengalis across the Globe to come home and celebrate the four days of puja with their family and dear ones. May be that is the reason we ritually clean our house before this biggest festival of ours. To keep it ready and inviting for everyone who come visiting.

One Pot meals

Sabudana Khichri

4:25 AM


For the first 21 years of my life I had no idea that a savory recipe with sabudana does exist. till that time sabudana for me meant an anemic looking 'Sabu' or a sweet gloopy mess of sago pearls which we would get as a meal during long suffering sickness. I though loved the other sweeter version of the same sago which is soaked and mixed with freshly grated coconut,milk and sugar, A fasting dish that maa or Dida would consume while following some religious ritual  and refrain from consuming regular grains like rice or wheat.

Review

PAn Asian Food Promotion at Hyatt Regency Kolkata

11:34 AM


Pan Asian  Pan-Asian cuisine would mean cuisine from across Asia. Which happens to be my favourite cuisine so when the invite came from Hyatt Regency Kolkata to review their Pan Asian food promotion I was more than happy. The Pan Asian food promotion is a part of their regular buffet which is served at their beautiful Waterside Cafe with amazing view through the high ceiling windows at their perfectly manicured lawn and fountains. 

Meat n Poultry

Kung Pao Chicken

11:35 AM


One of the recurring questions that comes back to me again and again everyday is what to cook. With my growing interest in food and nutrition the next idea to ponder on is how to make it nutritious and balanced for the family. Over the past couple of months I have found a overall fall in our collective energy level. I know I feel low, slow and sluggish all the time because of many reasons and some I know I have to live with all my life but what scares me is the overall health of the kids.

Media/MEntion

Suryabartta...for Santiniketani Kantha and batik

10:42 PM


My Mother was an alumni of Kala Bhawana, Santiniketan and was known among art lovers for her unique style. Suryabartta was her organisation where she started producing embroidered sarees, scarves, apparels and home furninshing products some 30 years back. 

Today her products are loved by everyone who adore handloom and handicraft.

Right now my brother and I are trying to keep her dream alive and carry on the legacy. We have started a Facebook page HERE SURYABARTTA
 Please check the page and see our products. If you find them beautiful please show us some LIKE love. 

We ship all around the World...do not hesitate to contact if anything catches your fancy. 

Your comments and feedback are highly appreciated.

I am putting the link to the FB page on the right hand side of this page.


Bengali

Bengali Style Fried rice

7:46 AM


This is my go to rice recipe for any formal meal. With the dry fruits and ghee this is festive enough to serve to guests as a fancy meal yet with a few pantry staples comes together really really quickly. What differentiate this dish to other fried rice recipe is it's mild sweetness and the restrained use of ghee as an aromat. Unlike the other pilaf or rice recipes this is not steeped in oil and doused with garam masala powder rather a very delicate recipe that pairs really well with rich gravy dishes.

Meat n Poultry

Bobotie and sweet rice (South African Spiced meat with egg custard)

8:13 AM


I have been wanting to start this series for quite sometime and with the temperature and humidity killing us in India, I guess this is the best time to start. this would not only save us from toiling in the kitchen for long but also help us to make scrumptious, healthy meal ready at the table in a ziffy. So the idea here is to start a new category of egg preparation which I will post as a series in the coming months. All the recipes would be linked to Meat and Poultry category on the right side bar for your easy reference.

This series feature one of my favourite ingredient...EGGS. I cannot think of a more versatile, satisfying ingredient than this humble protein. It’s a shame that most of us associate eggs with breakfast and often forget that if prepared properly it could also make a fulfilling meal. So in my quest I have tried to scr… around the world and find out unique egg preparations which are easy, quick, healthy and balanced.

Bengali

Taler bora or Ripe Toddy Palm fritters

10:39 AM


This had been a long awaited post for me. Though am not sure if you really require one more Taaler bora recipe, but I knew I had to put it online for the sake of keeping family recipes safe for the coming generations. and am glad after  many failed attempts over the last few years I could finally do it today. 

Bengali

Tyangra macher Sorshe Jhal (Catfish in spicy mustard based gravy)

4:24 AM


My two and half year old has started her play school couples of months back and for some reason she is not very inclined to continue with this routine. Unlike the elder brother who loved his school from the very first day this girl does everything in the morning not to go out of the door. 

Cake Orders Kolkata

Cherry Almond Tray bake

11:03 AM


The recipe that I am sharing today is something I made quite a few months back when fresh cherries just started appearing. This was my first food photo shoot in the last seven months. But then could not manage time to post it. Later I thought may be it’s too late to post. But today I saw fresh cherries still being sold in some markets so thought of posting it. Hopefully you still can grab a boxfull of these ruby red delights and can bake it.

Besides that, it's quite a versatile recipe. I have baked it few other time with strawberry, pear, peach and nectarine and it still tasted awesome. So just adapt the recipe to whatever fruit (Little hard like the ones I mentioned above) you can get and use it in this cake. 

Bengali

Ilish Macher Matha die Kochur loti (Taro stems with head of hilsa)

8:30 PM


My Maa, a women with many many qualities mastered several arts in her life time. Designing,for which she was known the most and which got her many accolades and awards including President's award was only one of them. Even at the age of 60 she was always ready to learn new art forms. Drawing, designing, all forms of stitching, tie dyeing, Kalamkari, Macrame, Tatting, Manipuri style loom...she learned and mastered all. With time I will share a few of her art works that she did for personal use.

In our extended family she was known for her cooking. Unlike many, her style of cooking was with less oil, less spices and definitely that cooks quickly. With a huge business to run and three kids to bring up she hardly had time for elaborate dishes on a busy day. But I could never remember a day when we left for school at 9 in the morning without 4 piping hot dishes and rice. And my father and us kids always left home with homemade snacks for the day. When my uncles would visit they would always request for her signature vegetable dishes and choto mach or small fish curries. Her charchari and ghantos were to die for if you like bengali food. She used scraps of veggies from the day's cooking and would turn them in such a delectable dish that we would finish our rice only with that. 

Review

Sunday Brunch at Buzz, Taj Gateway Kolkata

5:30 AM


“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"

"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"

"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully. "It's the same thing," he said.” 

I get this excited when it comes to an elaborate breakfast on a weekend without me slogging in the kitchen. And nothing in my rule book is more perfect than a brunch on Sunday morning...you can laze around as much as you want after having tea and something light and work up that appetite for a delicious spread. So The invitation from Buzz OF Taj Gateway Kolkata seemed perfect for a lazy brunch on a rainy Sunday. 

Events Awards Interview

Saffola Masala Oats #cravenomore Food truck challenge

10:50 AM


Remember my post on Saffola Fit foodie's crave no more challanege that I wrote about Here. I recently went to take part in the second leg of the challenge where us, the six winners fought in two teams in a food truck challenge under the expert guidance of Chef Shipra Khanna and Chef Saransh Goila. 

As promised in the first leg of the competition, the Food truck challenge took place in Gurgaon's Ambience mall on July 9. The plan was to divide the winners in two teams, each were to create dishes with one of the new flavours of Saffola's Italian and Chinese Masala oats. Following which I along with Kumar of Petpujaris and Shivangi of Shivangi reviews were given the italian team headed by Chef Shipra. Saloni of FBAI, Adarsh of Bigbhukkad and Priya of mumma's food diary were in the Chinese team headed by Chef Saransh. Chef Kunal Kapoor was there too as a judge and to guide us through the entire event. 

Maa

6:36 AM

IF you are following this page on Facebook then you know the reason why I was not blogging for the last few months. I wish like all other times I could say that things would be fine soon but no not this time. The reason, the impact, the loss is huge this time. It breaks my heart even to write this but the scariest nightmare of my life has suddenly come true and I lost my Maa...losing someone is always difficult but losing someone whom you are most attached to, who is your support, your best friend and also someone whom you want to protect with all your might is like losing a part of your body...every time you act to be alive it aches. 

It,s been more than 3 months now and am still in denial, I still cannot fathom the fact that I won't talk to her ever. time doesnot make it easier to accept and I am not sure if it ever will or if I would ever be ready to accept. her memories are so fresh, she feels so real yet I can't reach out to her, see her and that makes me numb...nothing comes easily to me these days and the whole wide world has lost almost all its charm at the moment. Am carrying on for the sake of my kids and to keep her dream alive. I know this would have made her sad so am trying my best to come in terms with everything around me. 

My Maa, She had a beautiful soul, full of kindness, empathy and love for everyone. She was fierce in her endeavours, built up a business almost from a negligible amount to start with which now employs almost 200 artisans today. Her hard work and sheer passion has made her hugely popular among her workers. We could not believe in how many ways she is remembered today, random people are coming up to us and telling us stories how she has touched their lives. I have always considered myself lucky to be her daughter but now I know every-time I will talk about her my chest will swell up with pride and still I will know there are much more to her that we could never do justice.

They say time heals everything but With time I am realising I do not want to get healed. It breaks my heart everytime I think of the world without her, it breaks my heart to realise we would not be able to explore life together the way we wanted, it breaks my heart to see my kids growing up without her, it breaks my heart even to think us siblings getting together in Santiniketan without her being around, it even breaks my heart everytime I enter that house. My heart breaks for everything, again and again and again...I miss her every moment. I will keep missing her so long as I live.

Life would never be the same...
and I just wish I could go back in time and change that.

Bengali

Paneer and Veg pulao and Boondi Raita

6:29 AM


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. 

Bengali

Pabda Macher Jhal and keeping your kitchen clean

8:36 PM


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. 

Nabobarsho, the traditions and must dos

1:16 PM

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.

To know more about this product check the following
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/HITkpkd/?fref=ts
Twitter : https://twitter.com/HITKPKD

you can Order online here : http://www.amazon.in/HIT-Crawling-Insect-Killer-CIK/dp/B00XORDU9E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1459950917&sr=8-1&keywords=lal+hit

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


Review

Chef's Basket Recipe kit; Cheesy Alfredo Pasta

6:26 AM


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.

Bengali

Dumurer Dalna (Indian wild fig curry with potatoes)

7:13 AM


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.

Crave No more with Saffola Masala Oats, event in Delhi

1:12 PM


Did I tell you about this absolutely fantastic event that I recently went to. Yes, am talking about the Saffola Fit foodie, Crave no More event in New Delhi , where few of India's top bloggers were invited to witness an awesome event with Chef Kunal Kapur, Chef Saransh Goila and Chef Shipra Khanna.

I often get invites to attend out of station events but for some personal reasons I could never participate in those. and to be absolutely true I always find it difficult to do something out of my comfort zone. Going iut and meeting people have never my thing I rather would like to do my work on my own terms. but this time I liked the way the invites were sent through and also to mention the very co operative and humble PR team. So on 19th March'2016 I found myself on an early morning flight to Delhi to attend this event.


The Event was held at Hotel Grand Hyatt in Vasantkunj. On reaching the venue I was surprise to see the huge set and stage created for this. There were 12 cooking station at the center with neatly stacked rows of all possible ingredients at the back. Though I had no clue of what was going to happen but decided to wait for the surprise to unfold. I met some of my fellow bloggers like Deeba Rajpal of Passionate about baking, Farrukh Shadab of cubes n juliennes, Raksha Kamat of Raksha's Kitchen, Jyothi of Curry trail, Preeti of Simply Tadka and many more. It was lovely meeting them and chatting about food and life.

Review

The launch of New flavours to 'Purba Banglar Ahaar' by Taj Gateway Kolkata

4:06 AM


Saying I love Bengali food would be an understatement...rather I am ready to spend my entire life cooking, feeding, teaching sharing this joy hoever is interested. So when an invite from Buzz; Gateway Kolkata came through KFB I was elated. More so because they serve East Bengali or Bangladeshi bengali food which eludes me to no end. Its like a deja vu experience for me, ingredients are so similar to what I cook on a daily basis yet quite different in technique and taste. For many personal reasons I cant attend most of the review invites these days but Gateway being so close to my place was easier for me to manage.

Cakes on order

Few Recent Cakes

6:30 AM

As mentioned earlier I have started taking cake orders from sometime. Here I am Sharing my latest cakes baked and decorated on order.
I have also started my facebook page for my home bakery named Homemade cakes and bakes. You can check it HERE https://www.facebook.com/HomemadeKolkata/?fref=ts

This one is a frozen theme cake, everything edible, everything homemade. There was another big snowflake that went up on the cake at venue.
An eggless chocolate cake with chocolate cream inside.

This Pink and white fondant Princess cake was for a little girl who celebrated her 6th birthday. The dress colours are inspired by her birthday dress.
It's a 6 layers Chocolate cake with Chocolate butter cream icing and Fondant decorations.
I was beyond thrilled when the little girl thanks me for making her birthday special with this cake.
 
This 3 layers chocolate truffle cake with mirror glaze ganache and chocolate and caramel decoration was for another lady's birthday.

This Fresh cream strawberry cake has moist vanilla sponges inside, topped with strawberry fresh cream.
To Order or enquire about rates etc please call or whatsapp to Sayantani at 9007055399
You can also mail me to ahomemakersdiary@yahoo.in

Bengali

Bacha Macher Jhal (Eutropiichthys Vacha in onion-tomato gravy)

7:47 PM


It's amazing how with time my interest in Bengali cuisine is growing. Now that I cook most of the dishes my mother used to cook during our childhood, I want to broaden my horizon. My mother as a kid travelled many parts of the country and Dida (grandmother) used to adapt and invent dishes with locally grown and available ingredients. So though I never ate jongli Lebu (wild oranges) but I know that you can make a beautifully flavoured soupy fish curry with it very similar to our favourite summer dish, Macher Tauk. So anytime I get to see them in any market I know I wont hesitate for a second to grab them and run home.

This is the very reason I pick up all the veggies which I had ever heard from my mother. So When shaplar bhyala was retrived in my kitchen from some very faint childhood memories, Dhenki shaak was brought home just to live the nostalgia shared by maa. But there are other ingredients which I never heard of and still want to bring them home. I am so curious and interested in finding them that I don't hesitate to ask around. And to my happiness people do share recipes happily. Sometimes it's the seller, sometimes its the shopper buying the same thing, they happily teach me how to bring out the best taste of the ingredients.
No wonder food is considered to be an Universal language, which devoid of cast, creed, nationality and time brings people around, sharing and caring for each other.

Review

Hakuna Matata, a Vegetarian fusion food Cafe in the heart of Kolkata

9:36 PM


Hakuna Matata this phrase brings back some fond memories of childhood...Mowgli, the jungle boy and Shere khan matching steps to a happy peppy song
Hakuna Matata, what a wonderful phrase
Hakuna Matata, ain't no passing craze
It means no worries for the rest of your days
It's our problem free philosophy, Hakuna Matata...
Agreeably it's a beautiful philosophy and thats what caught our attention when we got to know that husband wife duo Prabhas and PAllavi worked around this same philosophy to start their maiden Cafe venture, 'Hakuna Matata', in swahili which means 'No Worries'.


So on a bright weekday afternoon I and my fellow KFBian Amrita headed to the city's newest vegetarian fusion cafe.



Like it's unconventional name everything here has that touch of innovation. The first thing that will catch your attention is their eye for details, each and every place and corner is decorated keeping in mind the theme and every minute details. From decor to food to their way how they try to keep the customers engaged all the time tells a story of people who are truly passionate about this venture and are fascinated with this  journey. The maskot KOKO another Swahili motif was named through a contest by one of their customers and they take immense pride in the wish tree which is growing big and big with time. 



The decor is bright and mostly in a cheery yellow colour signifying the young minds and the experiments which is a big part of the whole venture. The painting on the wall depicts Koko's journey who rides a bicycle to travel the World and bring in tips and recipes to give variation to the menu. From the every growing wishing tree to the suspended figurines from the ceiling all depict the philosophy of exploration and celebration of everyday life. Keeping in mind the local flavours the decor is done by Kolkata based sculptors and artisans. 

Bengali

Gota Seddho (Boiled whole veggies with whole mung beans)

10:27 PM


Gota Seddho or literally translated 'boiled whole' is not only a dish but a tradition that many Bengali families have. The recipe is quite simple, all you do is boil minimum 5 types of whole vegetables with several types of whole lentils with salt and little spices but is said to be good for the season, and by that I mean many believe that with seasonal fresh vegetables this dish prevents pox that plays havoc during this season. I don't know the truth but I would like to trust it.

Now like any other dish the gota seddho differs from family to family. As per tradition you make it on the day of Saraswati puja and eat it the next day which is called Sheetol soshti. I know many families including my in laws where a big batch of this is made with many types of whole vegetables and lentils and is hared among neighbours and relatives.

Bengali

Kucho Chingrir Charchari (Shrimps in mustard gravy)

7:04 AM


There are lot of learning in one's life that could not be attributed to our growing up years or to how your parents raised you. Yes they instill in you a sense of right and wrong which eventually helps you to decide what to take on and what to leave. But there are other things that you learn from your own experience, your own mistakes or simply new learning that you pick up in the journey called life.

Fish and Seafood

Pomfret Tawa Masala (spice coated pomfret pan roast)

10:53 AM


Pomfret Tawa Masala or Panfried spice coated whole pomfrets is a very quick and easy recipe which calls for nothing but a few pantry staples. But the end result is so very delicious that you would be requested to make it again and again. And the best part is you would love to oblige to see that satisfied twinkles gleaming in your loved one's eays.

Many, even people who are not so fish lovers prefer Pomfret for the sole reason that it has very few bones and the fishy smell could be get rid of by rubbing lemon juice before the marination stage. This is one of those dishes that could be enjoyed any time of the day. As a starter with a big squirt of lemon and your favourte glass of wine or as an evening snack with good tea, great company, gossip and laughter. 

For ehichever occassion you choose do not forget to serve it with plenty, lemon and preferebaly a huge helping of roughly chopped salad of onion and cucumber.

Pomfret tawa Masala

Ingredients:
Pomfret fishes: 3 pieces (medium size)

Make a paste of 
onion: 1 (medium purple indian variety)
Ginger: 1.5" pieces
Garlic: a whole pod 
Green chilly: 1

Chilli Powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder  - 1 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala Powder - a fat pinch
Lemon Juice - 1 tblspn+1 tsp
Water as needed
Salt to taste

Oil to shallow fry.

Method:
Clean and wash the pomfrets and make 3 slit marks on each side with a sharp knife. Pour 1 tsp lemon juice on them, rub and keep aside for 15 minutes.

In the mean time make a paste of the onion-ginger garlic and green chilly, to this add 1 tbsp lemon juice, salt, turmeric, chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder. Mix everything together.

Wash the fish pieces and dab with a kitchen towel to dry the skin. Pour the spice paste on them and using your fingers rub the paste all over the skin, slits and inside the fish. Make sure you cover all the areas. Cover with a cling wrap and marinate in the fridge for 1-2 hours.

Once you are ready to cook heat some oil and place the fishes side by side. Cook on medium for a minute and then cover with a lid. Steam cook on low for 5-7 minutes. Remove the lid and cook on medium to crisp up the skin on each sides. (min 5 minutes on each side.

Serve just out of the pan hot with slices of onion, lemon wedges and some chaat masala.


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