Kanthal Bichir Bhorta (Jackfruit seeds mash with shrimps)

10:57 AM

The hidden gem of Bangladeshi cuisine for me is not the Hilsa dishes or the Pitha rather this humble side dish of mash called Bhorta. Though in both Epar and Opar Bangla (West Bengal and Bangladesh) we speak the same language, crazy about our fish and rice and share the same sentiment when it comes to literature, cinema, art and craft but our cuisine somehwere is significantly different. 

If you look into a Bengali thali you will find the rice is always placed on the left side with myriad types of fries, fritters, curries, boiled or fried mash of veggies or fish or sundried lentils, salt, chillies, wedge of lime and ghee on the right. The right bottom corner is generally left empty for the eater to mix his rice with the curries. I believe both Ghoti and Bangal cuisine follow the same norm but our plates completely miss these small mounds of bhortas the way Bangal's do it. They have a huge repertoire of bhortas or shiley bata as known in local language (ground in mortar and pestle) and can turn almost anything into a semi dry mash that brings your tastebuds alive with it's heavy handed use of chilies and mustard oil. 


Ilish macher tel Jhal (Hilsa fish stew with brinjal and potato)

9:30 AM

Age does queer things to us. It makes us do or like things that we never thought possible. otherwise I don't know how to explain the recent changes in my behaviour. I am pretty sure that it's age that makes me choose everything comforting or comfortable over all things fancy. That's true for almost everything. I now a days choose my cotton handloom sarees over fitted dress any day, in the hot and humid Kolkata weather I love my hair in a bun or plait than letting them down, have long ditched those heels which till a few years back I could not live without. 


Grated mango and chickpea Pickle

6:23 AM

Before it's too late and raw mangoes completely disappear from the market for a year let me post this recipe. This grated mango and black chickpea pickle is the real thing. It's spicy, it's sour and so very good, just perfect with almost everything. Be it Roti, paratha or plain Dal chawal, the tangy bite from the chickpeas definitely pushes any meal a few notch higher. 


Hilsa Festival @Taj Gateway; Kolkata

9:57 PM

Every year when I get invitation from Gateway Kolkata to attend their Hilsa festival preview I feel giddy. For many reasons I have stopped doing restaurant reviews as a blogger but this is one place where I love to go both personally and professionally and be amazed with their great food and hospitality again and again.

The mastermind behind any food festival at Gateway is, Chef Ashish.  He has a penchant for experimenting with an acumen for marketing. It's his pure love for food that he has the courage to bring his experiments on table for taste testing. This year again he brought out something  new, some he created with his kitchen wizardy and some he curated from the forgotten bylanes of Epar and Opar Bangla (Bangladesh and West Bengal).
The menu could be best described as a mix of Ghoti and Bengali style recipes with a couple of North Indian and continental flavours to cater to all taste buds. 
Dhakai Ilish

Cakes cookies n savory goodies

Cherry Clafoutis with Browned Butter

10:22 PM

Clafoutis is a French baked dessert, quite rustic and homely in its baking but very satisfying to have as a light dessert. Light because it generally does not involve much fat and are always made with some stone fruit that adds to the sweetness and the flavour. In rural France this is often made with unpitted cherries which a slight bitterness and an almond like flavour to it, but pitted cherries definitely adds to a smooth mouth-feel which is preferred for desserts. 


Kolar Bora (Sweet Banana Fritters)

1:12 PM

My Daughter is very happy these days. Ever since the driver left job to go to his native village she is very excited. Both the kids do not like car rides rather they prefer to commute on public transport. My son's joy breaks all bounds every time he makes me agree to ride a bus. Same with the daughter, her favourites are Auto rikshaw and rikshaw.

Since her play school is just 5 minutes ride from home, now a days I am picking her up in a rikshaw and everyday after school when her eyes fall on the waiting rikshaw outside the gate she starts jumping with joy. her joy is so infectious that even the Riksha pullaer or commonly known as rikshaw wallas starts smiling at her. Everyday she tries to persuade me to sell our cars and buy a Rikshaw for her to ride all day long. and every day I argue with her saying Baba has to go to office and we do not have anyone to pull the rikshaw. but am pretty sure soon she will ask her grandpa and brother to do the job for her.

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