Patpatar Bora (Jute Leaf Fritter)

9:00 PM

Yes, One more jute leaf recipe is here as I could not finish the big bunch that my brother sent from home.

This is one of the most common recipe of jute leaf prepared all through Bengal.The Slimy texture of the leaves are best dealt by deep/ pan frying. Everyone at home love this recipe with the regular dal-bhat-mach (Rice-lentil-fish). Often when my father is home I have to add very finely sliced onion to the batter as he is averse to any fritters made with leaves, (some people never grow up I tell you ).


Pat shaker jhol (Mulukhiyah)

8:37 PM

I am not sure if I could interchangeably use the term Mulukhiyah for Pat shaker jhol, but the ingredients, cooking process and taste is so uncannily similar that after some serious thought I decided to do so.

Mulukhiyah is an Egyptian dish which I first saw on a beautiful program on BBC called a Cook Abroad. It was one of those off the beaten path food shows where real food of different countries were showcased with the history behind it. On the Egypt episode the presenter Dave Myers (Hairy bikers fame) travelled to the Nile valley and prepared this dish at a farmer's place. I was truly taken aback to see the cooking process. Exactly how maa cooked Nalte shaker jhol. In Egypt they call it 'Asharifa' meaning the noble one. This nutrient rich dish was even mentioned in ancient Egyptian cuisine that dates back to thousands of years. 

Now if you have ever eaten or dealt with Nalte or Paat Shaak (scientific name Corchorus olitorius) then you know how slimy this is. For this reason this green is mostly cooked as a bawra or fritter or is just stir fried with spices. My Mother who was an artist and was running her own handicraft business discovered and learnt this from the many rural women worked in her workshop. In rural parts of Birbhum district these are always cooked as a green soupy dish. We were told that the Muslims of this region prefered to cook it with meat but the Hindu families cooked it just by boiling and tempering it with lots of garlic and chilies...just the way it is done in Egypt.


Aam Sorshe Ilish -Hilsa with raw mango and mustard

11:23 PM

It's that time again.

It's that time again to smell the petrichor, to forget umbrellas and then chase the rain with your hair flying in all directions, to snuggle on the bed when the thunder storm roars outside, to splash in the muddy puddle with the kids and not feeling guilty about it, To feel melancholic under the overcast sky, to have moods wings and follow the rainbow for happiness, to walk aimlessly drenching in the untimely drizzle, to make paper boats and see it whirl down the drain,  to gulp endless cup of masala tea and still feel thirsty...
And if you are a Bengali then to put a potful of bubbling khichuri on the stove and scour the market for the best Hilsa available.

Yes! It's monsoon again and we have a lot of catching up with our lives. It's time to slow down and smell the fresh moist air and follow our hearts-even only for a day.


Mashla Alu bhaja (Bengali style spicy potato dry dish)

8:34 PM

Every morning around 5.30 I would wake with a gentle nudge on my leg. It's Dida gently calling my name for the morning tea session in their second floor room. Though the huge kitchen was in the first floor but in the morning she and Dadu loved to make tea on their kerosene stove and drink it quietly. The veranda adjacent to the bed room had beautiful filigree and the morning sun loved to play hide and seek their creating pretty patterns on the deep red oxide floor. The pond beyond that had almost apple green water and the favourite place for morning birds to flock on the coconut trees and chirp incessantly. While I sleepily will take the stairs, Dadu will wake up the little sister only 4 or 5 back then. We would sit cross legged on the floor in a tight circle, dida facing us with her kerosene stove. She quietly will go about her morning tea ceremony. Steeping the Darjeeling tea till it turns dark amber in colour, stirring little sugar and then pouring milk. We will watch in awe how beautifully the amber turns into a milky caramely hue. Then she would sprinkle some water on the stove and we eventually would bend down to smell that smoke coming off the kerosene soaked wick. when the tea would be served we would first dunk our biscuit in them and then will drink the lukewarm tea in long slurpy sips. While Dida and dadu will go about their work afterwards, we eventually will go back to sleep again, this time in Dadu's bed. 

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