Poila Boisakh-Lets usher in the new year with tradition, hygiene and Chingri Bhape

6:23 AM



April is the busiest month for us Bengali mothers. While on one hand schools reopens after a long session break then on the other April Means our second biggest festival of Nababarsho or Bengali new year is just around the corner. No matter how people joke about the many Parbons (festivals) us Bengalis celebrate but we never shy away from it as for us festivities are always synonymous to family time, following tradition, enjoying good food and having overall good time with lots of adda.

As kids we loved Nababarsho for the new clothes that parents will buy for us. Bachhorkar prothom dine sob bhalo korte hoy (You need to be and do good on the first day of the year) was what Maa tought us. So on every new year without fail we took ritualistic bath in neem and turmeric water, wore new clothes, visited shops for their new ledger opening puja, exchanged handmade cards with New year wishes and in the afternoon feasted on a huge spread of Bengali traditional recipes by Maa.
Now as a mother of two growing kids I follow the same tradition and also do a puja at our handicraft shop. But my preparation starts quite early. Every year eventually we go on vacation during the session break. So after coming back I have to give the house a thorough cleaning. Also beginning of summer means cockroaches and ants of different sizes magically starting to reappear. And who does not know that cockroaches means food poisoning. Blame on my kids that even after a weekly cleaning, there invariably remains some dirty corners and food crumbs on floor.

So While the househelp scrubs the floor, the husband cleans every corner and I wash all my decor pieces, rearrange all the shelves and give the house plants a much needed trimming. Nababarsho needs a spic and span home and Kitchen being the heart of the home it always need special attention. I start by clearing out the shelves, cleaning the containers and airing the cupboards. It takes a lot of time but these are must for a hot and humid area like Kolkata. And then to disinfect the whole house I use Godrej Lal Hit. This is a magic spray that is very effective in killing cockroaches and keeping insects at bay a must use cleaning product in our household. I weekly spray it in the corners, under the sink and fridge and even inside the sink pipe and drainage pipes. Lal hit with its special long nozzle makes it possible to spray in the hard to reach areas and keeps my home healthy and hygienic. and the best part is now LAL HIT is available in a fresh fragrance, it even gives a pleasant smell which lingers around the house.

I have been using this product for a few years now and as a mother of small kids am thankful for it's presence in my life. I recommend all my readers to use LAL HIT and wish all of you a happy and safe Poila Baisakh. Have fun and enjoy your day with friends and family.

Chingri Bhape

Ingredients:
Prawn: 300 gms
Mustard seeds: 2 tbsp
Poppy seeds: 1 tbsp
Grated coconut: 1/4 cup
Green chillies: 4-5
yogurt: 2 tbsp
Mustard oil: 3 tbsp
Salt as per taste
Turmeric: 1/2 tsp
Sugar: 1/4 tsp

Method:
First Make a smooth paste of mustard and poppy seeds. Use the chutney or smaller grinder bowl of your mixie. Once you are happy with the consistency add the coconut, 2 green chillies and yogurt to it and mix.

Marinate the cleaned and washed prawns in this paste along with mustard oil, salt and turmeric. Slit the green chillies and mix them too.

After an hour of marination place this in a steel container with a lid. Steam the container in a bowl/pan/kadhai of simmering water with a tight fitting lid. Steam on medium for 15 minutes. Take out and let it rest for 5 minutes then serve with hot steaming rice.

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