Thursday, 14 December 2017


My name is Bond.... James Bond! Aww.... "Ami Bonde... cholbe naki luchi... murir sathey?".... Hi....hi... hi..... This is good enough reason for any real or virtual life Mr. Bond to avoid coming anywhere near me... Oh my God! Ain't I that little girl still who loved wrapping these pearl drop sized, juicy BENGALI BONDE with luchi /poori and finish at least four of these sweet rolls in four minutes? Yes, I am if only my health conditions allowed me to have the tummy satisfying amount, neither would I deprive myself from having a little of everything that I love.... That is the way I make peace with life! I indulge in all kinds of fried stuffs... salted or sweet .... the son seems to have picked up that habit .... He loves jilipi, amriti and this BENGALI BONDE. I thank the Almighty for this.... else it would have been a thing of suspicion that he is mine and that he belongs to a very humble, overly "Bongofied' family on both sides. I have noticed, this much loved but not that much pedigreed Bengali sweet gets tastier as it travels towards the interior of Bengal, you can always prove me wrong because my inferences are drawn from assumptions and not extensive researches. The son's love for BENGALI BONDE made our father get fresh bonde everyday from the local shops whenever the son stayed at his "dadun's.... the smiling buro's bari", now the brother gets for him. BENGALI BONDE can be called the nearest cousin of sweet boondi... it is juicer and melt in the mouth whilst sweet boondi, the non-Bengali way is drier and crunchy.... the ingredients used may be same.

Some mornings brings in nostalgia, with it some "shalpatai mora bonde.".... a teen girl asking the man  at the counter.... "kaku dusho gram bonde aar roshogolla doshta.... mani boleche tatka dekhe ditey... taratari dao... school jabo".... She was in a hurry for the school but the mother planned for some "luchi... torkari...bonde" for the lunch box. Besides the thrill of opening the yum lunch box, there was other areas of interest in the school which eventually turned out to be nightmarish and I whispered to myself each day... when is the last day?... I do not wish to come back here again! .... may be because of the fear of Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics classes...haha! It is 30 and 1/2 years now and time to break that promise! On my next visit to Kolkata, I wish to take a tour of "our school and aaspass."..... no I will not inform one of my dearest friend Kakoli who is a teacher there, neither will ask the brother or Chandrayee to accompany me.... my readers know I am a happy loner. Coming to the point, I have in fact copy pasted this recipe of BENGALI BONDE following few of the bloggers.... but you know there cannot be any other recipe for preparing bonde neither do I have the chance to meet a "haluikar"... a sweet maker sitting here in the island. You will definitely appreciate the amount of labour I have put in or all of us do put in for all the dishes we prepare. I am not an angel who gives due credit to everyone who I follow.... there are two reasons for this... any heirloom recipe demands more or less same ingredients... the second is "kuch emoson wali baat hai".... I am unable to.... Anyway, for this BENGALI BONDE, which was not actually made in our family, I have drawn inspiration from the following blogs.... Scratching Canvas, our blogger friend Amrita Roy's Motions and Emotions and Mellow N Spicy. The lady at Scratching Canvas has described it with few do's and don'ts which I liked but did not follow, yet the sweet boondis came out really well and authentic.  When I am extra cautious, I am surely going to have some serious kitchen blunders, hence! The sweet boondi we get here is the dried ones unlike the ones Bengalis usually have though the Belur Math serves the dry variety as prasadam.... I felt I should try the the original BENGALI BONDE at home.... Now a days the Kolkata sweet shops are serving baked bonde... I did not taste yet. Usually, two to three food colours are used to prepare BENGALI BONDE and I used icing colours for it!.... that too in the xmas season.... haha! The pretty cool me was having a hot mini wok treat yesterday afternoon just to prepare the stomach for a sinful, favourite breakfast platter of "muri.... bonde.... aam"...

Bonde is enjoyed just like that, or with murmura [puffed rice], luchi / poori or you can even have atop bread. While having this BENGALI BONDE, I was actually lost in somewhere far there... "dhulo orano path, bus ta thamlo cha o jol khabarer dokaner pashey.... dada duto kochuri, torkari aar bonde din, sange cha....He asks... didi kothai uthben?... je bhalobeshe deke dal, aloo bhaja, mach bhaja, lebu, lanka debey... ami tari"....  Thats me.... in sharp contrast to someone who hated everything about me.... I still remain the very me though... The luchi - bonde or muri-bonde has to be accompanied by few pieces of ripe mangoes and our island supplies this fruit throughout the year! Come let us treat our family / friends with sweet boondi or BENGALI BONDE which requires only few ingredients, of which gram flour and sugar is prime.

Heavily Inspired by....

Gram flour : 1standard cup
Rice flour : 11/2tbsp
Baking Soda : A pinch
Red Food Colour : 2pinch [I used icing colour]
Yellow Food Colour : 1pinch [I used icing colour]
Green Food Colour : 2pinch [I used icing colour]
Sugar : 1small cup [coarse grain]
Water : 11/2big cup
Rose Water : 1/2tsp
Lemon Juice : 2tbsp
Green Cardamom Powder : 3-4pinch
Ghee : 2-3tbsp
Oil : 100gm

I used a "luchir hata"... perforated ladle it is called too?.... but a specific one is used for this purpose I have seen.


Take the gram flour, rice flour and baking soda in a bowl. Mix very well.

Add water little by little until it forms a smooth batter. Make sure there is no lump in the batter.

Now we will divide the batter in to 3 parts taking it in three bowls. We will take little more amount in one than the other two.

Add the yellow food colour to the bowl with more amount of batter. Add the red and green food colour to the other two bowls and mix very well with 3 different table spoons.

Take the sugar and water in a deep bottomed vessel and put for boil at low heat.

Below are the two ladles I used for frying the batter and taking out the fried balls.

Heat the ghee and oil together in a wok. Hold one ladle atop it and add a tbsp of batter to it and move the table spoon on it in circular motion. The other ladle we will use to take out the fried balls on to a tissue paper. We will neither fry the gram flour balls too much nor let it burn.

We will repeat the same process for the green and red colour batter. You can see not all my balls are round, that is because I was not particular about washing the ladle after each round. It does not matter, as the bonde tasted well.

All the gram flour balls are on the tissue paper now.

Once the sugar syrup gets little sticky, add the rose water and lemon juice. Give a stir for a minute and switch off gas. Add the balls while the syrup is still warm. Stir.

Keep covered for about 30-40 minutes before serving. Enjoy with puffed rice or poori and super sweet pieces of mangoes alongside.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017


Yesterday night, the belief got stronger that I am not that much of a good homemaker, neither a class food blogger... .... I so much wished to bring that Kolkata Tea Stall effect in this particular post, messed up the kitchen but could not find a single "bhar".... the earthen tea cups.... Then I tried to break the corner of a plate as they use in the most simplest, rustic stalls to serve "cha, mumlet, tos, kola".... but you know how miser I am and could not get on with the action. Some of my blogger friends would have done full justice to this post. Anyway.... you must excuse me considering I at least prepared that milk masala tea and had it too at 8:45 pm which neither of us two are used to anymore. During the college days, I loved those masala tea with an overdose of sugar either from those big brass kettles in the Burrabazaar area or from the roadside tea stalls who served in earthen pots..... and the "sujir lero biskut"..... till date I  simply fancy them. I saw them every where .... in the railway stations, while traveling through the highway or just in the neighbourhood and craved.... The mother never allowed either a "lero biskut" or "bapuji cake." Instead she got me a "gol moto oven" from the Modern Variety store located in between Shyambazaar and Hathibagan.... We are North Kolkatans.... so our tryst continues with "Malonchor Kobiraji Cutlet".... "Town Schooler Golir Ankher Rosh aar Phuchka"..... "Sampader Blouse".... "Amritor Doi"....the famous tea leaf shops in the Lalbazaar  area.... the list is too big to fit in here.... Some of our known area were ranged from the airport to Park Street.... beyond that.. is still a foreign land.... If I take a bus for Dakshinapan, I still ask the bus guide to drop me at the right place. Kolkata is calling more because this winter we are not going there. How much I am wishing to take a tour of Sharma's Lassi, Lakshmi Narayan Shaw's "Telebhaja"..... I still do visit the century old shops of New Market... may taste a roll from "Badshah".... a "Tea Room" or a "Cookie Jar" cannot stop me from visiting "Nahoum's"..... again and once more... not for the cakes alone but for the nostalgia!... During the Xmas season those areas are a must visit.... The only difference between Kolkata and this island is that for good cookies there, you have to travel to particular places while you have a bakery shop every 200 metre here. What do you want?.... wife biscuit, husband biscuit, lotus paste, red bean paste, pandan flavour, coconut cookies... the list is quite big..... and Milind Soman declares he does not touch biscuits.... its poison for the body! He will surely block me from his page if he sees the picture below.....

My mother may tell him.... " e ki amon dekhcho.... ami barir theke beroley amar meye akbarey sholota biskut kheye nito"..... and there is not a bit of exaggeration in it. The major reason of that bulging out tummy is my love for biscuits and cookies. I had to think of some home baked simple ones with very less sugar or not at all of it. This ELACH DANA O KALOJEEREY SUJI BISKUT was successful in the first attempt. Do not expect me to blog on a pasta recipe.... I do not wish to feed my readers "gajor, lonka, peyaj, cheese kuchi diye pastar chocchori ba ghonto."

There was a time, say in the early 90's when I really could prepare those roadside tea stall like "suji biskut."..... courtesy the recipe booklet that came with that unique oven gifted by the mother. I have lost the booklet, baking skills and confidence. Lacking the proper props to create that tea stall effect and of a perfect recipe, I modified a bit using butter, a little of green cardamom seeds and two drops of rose essence for this ELACH DANA O KALOJEEREY SUJI BISKUT. I wished for some thin, flavourful, less sugar, not heavy on the stomach biscuits and I got them, hence the share. I am missing someone around who does not approve me of blogging  on bakes or a pasta.... messages "kichu niramish torkari dao." Why do I listen to the person?.... for the same reason why I married the Captain Haddock at home knowing he will throw me out of the window at least eight times in a day. Preparing this biscuit was a very stress free job, all my readers know by now I do not take up complex recipes. I did not follow any recipe as such for it except for browsing some of "sugi cookies" authentic of our immediate neighbouring country. I love those but they are sugary, hence did not. I have already copy pasted a recipe of an authentic Bengali / Indian sweet following few bloggers, to blog on soon giving due credit to them. The very impatient that I am, I repeated at least five times while shaping them with cookie cutters "dur birokto lagchey, Cristine chal makhata diye porota baniye feli."...... Then the senior was back home, there was a blast attempt again at some place, I had to sit beside him, get some kind of a nervous breakdown and plead... boss promise me you will not send the son for higher studies anywhere else, he will study whatever he gets to in this safe haven, in this island..... the man will ask Cristine to get gallons of water saying his wife has again started with her dramas. So enjoy my recipes, do not take a look in my other areas.... you cannot get along.... just the way I do not in most cases.... You can call it my short coming , I accept it and prefer to remain a happy loner. Anyway, for the... slightly modified version of Kolkata roadside tea stall style biscuit..... ELACH DANA O KALOJEEREY SUJI BISKUT, we need very few ingredients like semolina, refined flour, melted butter, little of salt, baking soda and sugar, nigella seeds and green cardamom seeds.

Semolina : 1/3coffee mug
Refined Flour : 1/2coffee mug 
Butter : 3-4tbsp [melted]
Nigella Seed : 1tbsp
Green Cardamom Seed : 1/2tsp
Rose Essence : 2drops
Baking Soda : 3-4pinch
Sugar : 1tbsp
Salt As Required

The amount yields about 25-30 mini sized biscuits.


Take all the ingredients except for the melted butter and the rose essence in a bowl. Mix well.

Add the melted butter and the rose essence to the flour mixture.

Rub well for 2-4 minutes.

Add little water and knead till you get a soft, little moist, oily dough.

Prepare little bigger than that of paratha balls from the dough.

Roll out round parathas with your rolling pin and press any small cookie cutter to get the shape of your choice.

Place a cookie sheet on a baking tray and place the unbaked cookies on it.

Preheat oven at 180*C. Place the tray inside.

Bake for 15 minutes @ 180*C. They will be done.... it depends on your oven though as I used the convection mode of a microwave oven.

Once cold, we will transfer to an airtight container. Do not refrigerate, they should stay well for a week in a cool, dry place. Enjoy with tea or coffee.

Sunday, 10 December 2017


Where to start from and how to? Well I wished to go authentic Bengali today with ingredients known to majority of the people. In fact most of the time I wish to go Bengali, I am thinking of asking my friend Bianca what if I wish you and others with a baked roshogolla on xmas?... If you can prepare those "complex cakes".... why not a rassgulla.... which is no less complex to me but I still manage.... No sweet shops in the island come near to Kolkata roshogolla... better to do them at much they ditch me at times. Coming to that particular point why I at times stay away from promoting Bengali Cuisine.... ahh... some people keep on sending pictures of "macher alpona"... fish designs or of "patali gur"... date palm jaggery on whatsapp whenever I blog on some other cuisine ..... that disturbs me ..... I am not a kind of a person who can be forced to do anything .... free willed people perform the best when they are left to be at  themselves. No one can stop me from going Bengali today.... why? Yesterday night I came across a mind blowing post of four little girls ..... staying 50 km away from Kolkata .... going to Bengali medium school taking part in an English Drama competition held in New Delhi and grabs the 6th position in finals!.... wow... they were contesting with the prestigious city schools of the country! Their English teacher Sayantan .... happened to be a student of our friend Dr. Nishi Pulugurtha at the degree level.... his proud ma'am will definitely share it on her stream. Only kids of low-income groups go to such government schools these days ..... no, people who scream when I share a picture wearing a frock or share a baked recipe  do not send their kids to such schools but to the city convents. They go to Park Street restaurants to have a Turkey dinner on xmas but cannot stand a xmas tree as the background of my profile picture..... but I am that untamed horse who is not bothered by all these and live by her own set of rules.... courtesy, the ferociously independent thinker I am married to. Anyway, many of you I know do a lot of work and contribute to the cause of the needy and do not sit idle at home like me and give big talks. Even this lady tries to do her bit sitting at home. The miser me too waste money buying clothes and utensils which later  I do not wish to use. I do not stuff my wardrobe and cupboard with them but give it to our Cristine, she stores them in a packing box and courier to her home. We can do our little bit sitting at home too.... I follow a couple of NGOs working towards such causes, but I do not send money to their funds because I know some organisations do not make proper use of their funds.... Before I contribute, I must know about that NGO.... I do not wish to waste my husband's hard earned money. One  NGO I follow is "I-India-Giving Street Children a Future" based in Jaipur, Rajasthan. If you see any kind of child abuse around, you can call their toll-free number 1098, valid within India. Below is the box ready to be despatched and Cristine's ma'am has not filled it with her torn underwear. Charity indeed begins at home.... so many are waiting for your worn clothes... may you?

The air is getting heavy friends and readers! Before I dive into the heirloom, humble Bengali recipe from my side of the family DHONEPATA BATA DIYE MULO SHEEM ALOO CHINGRI, I must narrate a hilarious incident that occured day before yesterday. I mentioned about one or two notorious guys who disturbed my peace of mind years back so much so that the mother had to guard me in and out of the neighbourhood for a couple of years. One rascal followed me to the school gate or on way back home. Our daddy was miser in some areas and never thought of renting another house until he built his own dream home some 25 km away from Kolkata and declared.....  I want to spend my retired life peacefully amidst greens.... Off course all the responsibilities of his home and garden had to be borne solely by our mother while he was busy with his club and its charitable activities. Theirs was a story of a fun loving, friendly, extremely warmhearted husband and a cold, too very hardworking, family oriented wife.... even my "parabyarani" mashimoni says "your mother had been a total bore always, you know".... haha. Anyway, my readers noticed I called those notorious boys "stray dogs." That was in the morning, few hours later around 6:30 pm, I was in the gym on my stationary bike.... Suddenly this thought popped up.... why should I bad mouth referring an innocent animal. A sense of fear engulfed me, what if any member of PETA reads it? I jumped out of the machine, ran back to the home before a PETA representative could take an earliest flight to the island and book me.... Keeping pets is almost a norm in this island too... people here are bhindi lovers but how much of kurkurey bhindi I do not know, so fear of an attack by them was less.... haha. Then I have my couple friends from college Joydip & Suchandra Kundu who are associated with the "Tiger Bachao" project back in India, they are a major part of "Sher". Joydip can still be a terror if you demean poor animals, but I support and like them because they do support a noble cause and fund towards the cause of spreading education in the backward Sundarban area. He is a film actor too.... this very dear friend was a naughty boy at college, can dedicate his life entirely to such causes because he perhaps never had to earn his bread, his family owned four petrol pumps in the Hathibagan area in the early 90's.... but we can always do our bit to support them. Our Ipsita & Soumya had adopted a stray dog... Kaizu... He is old and sick.... Our friends are going to Kolkata and Cristine has to take care of Kaizu.... so I had to edit and term those notorious boys as "rascals."Jokes apart, My family indeed had a pet, Jenny... she was a mixed breed gifted by a neighbourhood aunty when we were leaving Kolkata way back in 1995. Below is our Jen sitting on my then gorgeous mother's lap... beside was our Pa who loved wearing a variety of watches. At the back were standing their two kids.... clicked 18 years back. Jenny died early when seven and half years old for our ignorance, making her an aficionado of mutton and dried fish when she was prescribed yogurt & rice by the vet and for missing one of her vaccine in time. The brother got so emotionally drained that we never had one again , he developed asthma too from her fur ... the doctor said no too....

Many of such things are shrouding my mind and makes me firm on sharing a recipe of my side of the family today. Both my mother and grandmother says that DHONEPATA BATA DIYE MULO SHEEM ALOO CHINGRI is a recipe from Comilla... now in Bangladesh.... it is what they have known from the family itself.... better informed people can always disagree. I loved anything with fresh coriander paste during winters at age 6 and now too.... specially fresh water fish curries. DHONEPATA BATA DIYE MULO SHEEM ALOO CHINGRI is a winter regular dish in our family done with even smaller shrimps, fresh coriander paste, green chilli paste, broad beans, radish and potato with skin on.... see I lessened your work load.... Absolutely no garlic, ginger, onion or any exotic spice is required in this dish... we will cook with all fresh ingredients, covered and at lowest heat. Do not expect stepwise pictures of my Saturday cooking.... This messy woman is totally messed up on Saturdays.... starting at morning till the afternoon.

Radish : 2medium... the island standard or 5-6 small, red Indian variety
Broad Bean : 7-8
Potato : 1big
Shrimp : 350gm
Fresh Coriander Leaves Paste : 11/2medium cup
Green Chilli Paste : 11/2tbsp [adjust as per your taste]
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 1tsp
Nigella Seed : 1/2tsp
Dry Red Chilli : 2halved
Bayleaf : 1
Salt : As Required
Oil : 2tbsp [ authentically mustard]


We will not peel the skin of potatoes in this recipe, wash it thoroughly and cut into cubes. Peel, wash and cut each radish into four parts if medium or big. Then make thin slices. Wash the broad beans, discard two ends, make 5-6 pieces from each. Take all the vegetables together and marinate with salt and turmeric powder.

Wash and de shell the shrimps. Wash thoroughly again 3-4 times under the running water. Rub salt and turmeric.

Heat oil in a wok, lightly fry the shrimps, take out and reserve to be added later. Temper the remaining oil with nigella seeds, a bay leaf and halved dry red chillies.

Add the marinated vegetables along with the marinade. Fold in well and cover. We will cover cook the entire period at the lowest heat till the vegetable are soft.

After about 8-10 minutes, open cover and add the red chilli powder and little salt if required. Fold in well and cover again.

After 5-6 minutes, the content in the wok gets semi-dry, it is then we will uncover and add the lightly fried shrimps, the fresh coriander paste and the chilli paste. We will stir for 2-3 minutes and take down.

Authentically we enjoy this dish DHONEPATA BATA DIYE MULO SHEEM ALOO CHINGRI with nothing but plain white rice, you can try with some chapatis too!

Friday, 8 December 2017


Ahh... it seems I can never learn the tricks of good photography... those reflections and shadows pisses me off. I remember the evening I prepared this KURMUREY BHINDI IN A SPICY SESAME SEED & RICE FLOUR BATTER... The recipe is super simple and this greedy woman ate half of the crispy, superbly yum batter fried bhindi while frying, leaving little for the men and Cristine. When it came to taking pictures, I could not get away with those reflections, it was perhaps 10 pm with two hungry people waiting for the dinner to be served. Thanks to the use of rice flour in the batter, they were still crisp when served. We Bengalis eat fries and fritters either as a snack or as an accompaniment to dal and rice. All the sweating I had in clicking these not so satisfying pictures did vanish when we had our dinner.... However the picture quality is, the KURMUREY BHINDI IN A SPICY SESAME SEED & RICE FLOUR BATTER tasted heavenly. Doing a batter fry is not a big deal for us with the readymade rice flour or gram flour or corn flour always stored in our kitchen. Going back in time, it indeed was a tiring job for our mothers. On days when they planned for a batter fry, they had to soak "atap chal".... a special kind of low priced rice for hours, then made a paste of it in a "shil nora".... added spices, chopped green chillies, poppy seeds in it to prepare a batter that yielded super crispy fritters. My mother's two kids wanted fritters everyday but she did not allow..... both parents had serious concerns about their overweight daughter. They were unhappy that the daughter did not take interest in physical activities, neither did the mother allow me to mingle much in the neighbourhood famous for its notoriety. Those were the days you know people respected the good in you, yes I will take the pride of being a decent girl who was not disturbed by the notorious gang except for one or two rascals. We were worried about the little brother who had to go out to play every evening and had to pick up dirty words. That boy, my little brother who was always asked to follow his "didibhai", today has taken all the responsibilities of his parents, while I manage with few calls weekly. Our father left for the heavenly abode like a king whose daughter-in-law used to call me every 10th January and say "Today is Pa's birthday, you remember na?".... No wonder, the happy and content me will have fries & fritters more often.

Different kinds of fries & fritters was a Thursday affair at our home. It was an all vegetarian day and our mother had to feed us some way or the other. It was last week when she complained that her son still does not want to eat veggies.... only meat and his favourite "mota aloo bhaja".... home style french fries. Come on, many of you will agree that our mothers knew how to fry something near like french fries some 40 years ago.... My senior's late big aunt used to shred potato this thin using her two hands and a "boti" or pirdai [wiki]... a special kind of knife with stand used in Eastern India? I do not have a "shilnora" or a "boti"at my home, yet I remain that traditional Bengali.... I need to prove it soon. Sitting in this island, it is not really a problem. I find it very much amazing that the natives of this island eat what we grew up eating!.... gosh from "kamranga".... "ankh"..... "narkol" to "batabilebu"... "aam".... "gur"..... so recreating a traditional dish using fresh, local ingredients is not a problem.... if only my men's tastebuds matched mine.... the senior is still ok but the junior does not seem to have come out from my womb. In any of my posts, I do not at all feel like keeping aside this wonderful island, neither my birthplace / secular India .... Since I lack grey matter.... justice may not be prevailed in all cases.... but the wish is genuine. Those who know me also know I do not fake. Anyways, batter fried bhindi / okra / ladysfinger / dhyarosh is not really a Bengali thing.... we love bhindi bhaja actually and add it to prepare mixed veggies. I must mention boiled bhindi is my favourite and very good to have when you have constipation. I first tasted this kurkurey bhindi at my immediate neighbouring aunty's place. She stayed in Mumbai for 42 long years and came back to Kolkata to spend the rest of their retired life. I simply loved the crunch, given I love anything with bhindi / okra / ladysfinger. Back in Kolkata I did try but was not happy with the outcome. Once I entered the food blogging world, I saw a couple of my blogger friends had blogged on it. I thought why not try it again with a slightly different batter. With absence of "posto".... or poppyseed in our life, there is a considerable use of "shada til" ...... white sesame seed in my kitchen. We must use the correct amount as it tends to taste bitter if the amount is more than enough. So, below is my recipe of KURMUREY BHINDI IN A SPICY SESAME SEED & RICE FLOUR BATTER which you can enjoy as an evening snacks or as an accompany to rice and dal.

Bhindi : 12-15
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 1/2tsp
Coriander Powder : 1/2tsp
Cumin Powder : 1/2tsp
Black Pepper Powder : 1tsp [coarsely ground]
Aamchur Powder : 1/2tsp [dry mango powder]
White Sesame Seed : 1/2small cup
Rice Flour : 1medium cup
Gram Flour : 2tbsp
Baking Soda : A Pinch
Sugar : 1tsp
Salt : As Required
Oil : 150-200ml... the left over can be reserved for later use

Wash all the bhindis / okras / dhyarosh / ladysfinger thoroughly under running water. Pat dry with a clean, dry, kitchen towel.

Discard the stem end of the bhindis and then cut half. I think authentically, for this recipe they are cut into thinner strips.... I did not take that risk just like those friends who will not take the risk of cooking a fresh, sweet water fish with only slitted green chillies, nigella seeds, turmeric and water.

Marinate the halved okras with salt, little turmeric and black pepper powder and keep aside for at least 20 minutes. Meanwhile, dry roast the white sesame seeds till they turn light brown. Let cool and dry grind to a powder.

Take the rice flour, sesame seeds powder, gram flour, turmeric powder, sugar and the required amount of salt in a bowl. Add water little by little to prepare a thick paste.

Add the red chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, black pepper powder, aamchur powder and a pinch of baking soda to the batter. Mix very well and keep at rest for 5 minutes.

Heat oil in a deep wok. Coat the behinds / dhyarosh well in the thick batter discarding the water that had released after marination.

Deep fry adjusting the temper from low to medium. Take out and place them on to a tissue paper.

Transfer to a serving plate and enjoy hot either with tea / coffee or with dal and rice!

Wednesday, 6 December 2017


Ahh whenever I get inspired by such posts like "Shobbha De @ 70" and think of going in for a clean diet or doing a GM diet for a week, something or the other stops me .... which only proves my insincere self. You cannot blame me alone for this... every other day there is a celebration around .... someone has a birthday, others celebrating their marriage anniversary in the most romantic manner,  while some other with a revealing neckline says "jealous yeah?".... the list has no end.... there is always another one who perhaps knows my weakness for sarees.... wears an enviable one and says.... so what if I have few extra kilos... I possess one of the best smiles in the world.... Then there is someone who knocks the door right at 4pm each day with a hungry stomach.... mumma has to think of something or the other.... say something as filling as these PEPPER & CHEESE STUFFED MINI PARATHA for him. Why not?.... this is the only thing I do at home.... I simply dislike those who do not earn a penny but goes out early morning for a coffee at Starbucks or for a periperi chicken at Nando's during lunch hours and takes pride in posting made up photos in the social media.... My only message to such people is that.... earn 10 dollars and see how hard it is.... save every single dollar and then go for parties with your friends... it looks good!.... Even a Twinkle Khanna does not depend on her husband solely for her branded stuffs... but she definitely is not being a true Punjab-an... she hardly eats paratha.... no proof can we see ... haha... she own my heart in lieu of few things... of which her style is one and ohh! what a sense of humour she has... The other day she wrote somewhere..... whenever I travel.... I call up my husband and tell him if fate betrays with me... all my handbags should go to my daughter.... I do not want your new wife to carry them.... oh God! I giggled for the entire day... I somehow identified with that.... whenever I go out, I ask my tiger.... if I do not come back would you cry?.... Those who know him know the answer too.... haha ..... Sarcasm has nothing to do with truth... when she says her stationary bike is used to hang washed clothes.... she wants her readers to laugh out loud.... "koi sach wali baat usme hai hi nehi".... I follow her mother and the daughters for many years now... when I first saw the trio's pictures making candles  in our favourite Bengali magazine "Sananda"..... Isn't that quite meaningful than to see the pictures of star kids with their beaus in the parties? I do not even look at such news... It must be her mother's contributions towards their life.... no wonder I will buy a bobby print dress for a party.... though at a heavy discount... I adore stardom but do not try to imitate ... one must be very conscious about their own identity and ability. Coming to my ever graceful heartthrob.... Vidya Balan.... I do not know when and why she has started loving me so much... she absolutely need not put on those few extra kilos... why?simply because they are our divas.... fish is not a problem... rice must be the culprit in both cases... haha... PEPPER & CHEESE STUFFED MINI PARATHA is neither a contributor to a healthy self, but I had to go ahead with it considering the colours in the air.... [social media]...

My readers already know.... I interpret everything in terms of films.... Bollywood rules over me... also does a "Good Bengali Movie".... which is not a copy.... For an example.... I so much started adoring "Prasenjit" when he got himself free from the "Posenjit" tag... After getting overly exploited and spoilt.... Rituparna Sengupta got to prove herself in "Paromitar Ekdin" or "Dahan"..... Coming to Bollywood ... a noted member of Bollywood's first family.... Shashi Kapoor passed away day before yesterday...... who met his love Jennifer Kendal in Kolkata... 1956... while she was touring with her theatre practitioner family throughout India. The British Theatre actress's acting prowess we did see in few movies... be it 36 Chowringhee Lane, Junoon or Ghare Baire! I liked that pair .... that made me put up that status in Facebook yesterday.... the romantic me prefers to be romantic in death too.... a toast to their meet in heaven... with this PEPPER & CHEESE STUFFED MINI PARATHA! I planned about it yesterday noon and the miser me will not run to the supermarket to buy  a spicy cheese block for 20 dollars.... I will coarsely ground some black pepper and use the available cheese slices for the super simple recipe.... How can I leave our loving island in the process?.... After my status update on Facebook, there had been a series of posts on how nice our island is.... haha so sweet of them.... To those who do not know much about this island, Cheese Prata is one of its best sellers! Porota / Paratha / Prata has to have in today's share.... I cannot go without having one small with a hot cup of coffee!.... rest is all yours and my men's. To all the mothers who do not sit idle at home like me.... do prepare this PEPPER & CHEESE STUFFED MINI PARATHA to brighten up your breakfast or dinner table.... After a hard day outside, you do not have to prepare a side dish either.... take out the dates & tamarind chutney from the refrigerator .... assort some mint leaves, a green chilli and few spoons of yogurt, few pinches of black salt and grind to a paste... you get a fresh mint chutney... Cheese is not something I swear by, this tongue still tickles with the touch of "shutkir bharta"..... Did I start this blog to please my tummy alone?..... no... When I promote my blog / page, do only people of a particular region respond?...never..... So there will be a variety of food fair here in this blog with predominance of Bengali / Indian food ... within my limits.... I never can be a versatile cook. The pictures down will prove that these PEPPER & CHEESE MINI PARATHA are a no fancy, child's play kind of... Once I finish sharing this.... I will watch Shashi Kapoor's Shakespeare Wallah in You Tube.... do you wish to?

Refined Flour : 11/2coffee mug
Ghee : 5tbsp
Nigella Seed / Kalonji : 1tsp [optional]
Black Pepper Powder : 1tbsp
Cheese Slices : 5[halved]
Salt : 1/4tsp or little less
Oil : 100ml


To be very honest, my initial idea was to prepare some cheese stuffed "trikon nimki".... triangular nimki and jilipi are the morning rituals of the Bengali sweet shops.... hence I added the nigella seeds. After I was done with the dough, I felt it seems soft and would not turn in to crisp nimki.... so I changed the plan and turned them in to these deep fried cheese stuffed yummy parathas.

Take the flour, ghee, nigella seeds and salt in a wide mouthed vessel.... do not look at my kitchen utensils.... neither me or Cristine do justice to them always.... no wonder my mother disapproves of my home making skills... her 20-25 years old aluminium woks are flawlessly silvery... ohh...

Rub the entire content for at least 2-3 minutes.

Add warm or normal water little by little  and keep kneading to form a smooth dough.

Cristine was very eager to show maam's spaghetti strap dress, I had to edit hence. Anyway... we will knead further for 12 minutes and cover with a cling wrap for say 1/2 an hour.

After 1/2 an hour, remove the cling wrap and take out small portions... smoothen between your palms. Take all things required on your work station. Roll out poori like roundels and place half of a standard cheese slice right in the middle, sprinkle some freshly ground black pepper.

Fold sideways, and press the border.

Fold again lengthwise and press the sides properly.

A Bengali always has a triangular paratha on mind... hence. We will roll lightly pressing it to level. We have to be careful not creating any holes.

Heat oil in a wide wok and deep fry the parathas on both sides.

Take out, transfer on to tissue papers first before serving. Can you see little of melting cheese oozing out... a little does not matter as we will serve them fresh & hot.

Serve the yum PEPPER & CHEESE STUFFED MINI PARATHA with Mint-Yogurt Chutney and Dates-Tamarind Chutney.... I had to have it with a hot cuppa of coffee.... what about you?

Monday, 4 December 2017


I am not in the mood or position to go for an elaborate recipe today.... so this super simple, supremely yum dish of BATTER FRIED POMFRET should be fine.... What do you say, my readers? Even if you are not so much of a fan of pomfret like me, you got to love it when cooked this way.... If we are considerate enough with the time taken for marination, this dish can be an overly delicious snack cum appetiser. I have got serious about exploring certain fresh, locally available fish, what else to do? Is it possible to wait for one particular supplier to get some "tyangra", even if I grab some and come home dancing.... the son will not touch one. The "rui / katla" that comes from the neighbouring state does not go down well with my taste buds.... I have grown up eating "Churni nodir Rui / Katla".... once we landed in Kolkata, the mother had some fixed fish sellers who sold fish caught from ponds and rivers only and not ones coming from "macher bheri".... I continued with that tradition.... As I always say my side of the family [read... my mother] is far from being modern when it comes to food.... She will be so happy to see some of my blogger friends owning a "shil-nora"to prepare spice paste.... she may even disown me and adopt them... haha... She always takes pride in saying... I was the eldest of six siblings.... I had to help my mother in all household chores.... I learnt to cut and clean "koi mach"..... climbing perch at age 12.... she had to because her father was a banker but not the director of it! Then I have to retaliate... "tumi to amai kichu kaaj kortey daoni, karo kaaj tomar pochondo hoyna".... She never had let me do any work... to which she has to say that her lazy daughter was always so engrossed in story books! The mother's daughter with a strict mother-in-law whose height of laziness can create legend did learn how to take care of home gradually..... but the parents' genes does not work when it comes to sports!.... the mother won medallions in "kho kho" and "kabadi" in school and college, the father played football... had to stop because of severe arthritic attacks, the brother had been so good in sprints, swimming, cricket... never pursued..... the daughter? takes almost double the time than normal to complete a half marathon.... then she has to post the picture in social media and seek some love from her friends.... They do deserve some good food share from me today.... just as yum a starter like BATTER FRIED POMFRET! Talking about genes.... it need not work always.... I must mention about my husband's sister in this regard.... I have hardly seen people who balance their work place and home so beautifully.... You enter through their main door and can feel the aesthetic sense of the couple.... She was in school.... I saw her folding clothes, cleaning corners when the mother was busy with her friends elsewhere.... When I was under heavy dose of sedatives after marriage due to my mental ailment, she even assisted me to the toilet while her mother was busy scolding my mother for not giving her the list of diseases I had before marriage.... My sister-in-law shares a bond with my mother appreciating each other.... I like it... the girl who slept till 12pm goes for trekking at the Himalayan belt twice a year with her certified trekker husband.

My sis-in-law's dearest brother had a lot of discouraging words on the way to drop me at the race venue yesterday.... oh! flocks of mad people going in the same direction at 4am like my mad wife.... are they like my wife?.... more interested in posting the picture with the race T-shirt  and medallion on  the social media rather than doing it for the love of the race! I had to say.... stop it boss! I do not fake it... I do not drive to the finishing line and post pictures in the social media! I do not even fear to show off my spotted facial skin  or that impossible to measure waist line to the world, neither to the "chote nawab".... I will remain what I was or am,  I still survive.... I will!..... however keen Times of India is showing me off his happening pictures with Kareena... haha! That glammy must be a nice woman who never lets me get jealous of her! I am one happy girl today because I do not have to go out the entire day.... too much of joint pains... As I always say never set me as an example.... I lead a carefree, casual life! Marathons require regular trainings.... I never do.... people are so sincere that they go for special diets two months prior to the race day... I hardly follow! If you are keen on such races.... follow what the experts has to say... you bet you can finish a half marathon within three hours. Each year the organisers give us a steep stretch of few kilometres, I slow down there, in the last lap of 5 kilometres.... I take maximum time... my feet gets heavy with pain.... this will not happen if you are trained well and are on proper diet. You are sincere with your life and will not eat "begun shutki"... dried fish with eggplants or rice dosas prior to such events like this insincere to the core woman....

Do not worry, I am not going to blog on them right at the moment.... Begun Shutki may happen some day but dosas never.... I do not blog on something I am not good at... Let me treat you with these crisp and yum BATTER FRIED POMFRET instead.... the mother used to do pomfret this way for the daughter who was not fond of this fish. If we can leave aside the marination time, it is a very easy and quick recipe with few ingredients with no labour at all. For this recipe, we need to take care of frying the fish in the right temperature throughout!I served the BATTER FRIED POMFRET with some spice coated potatoes..... help yourself with some beverages or with.... ahem... you know what!

INGREDIENTS : [for the marination]
Pomfret : 5-7 medium sized
Ginger Extract : 3tbsp
Garlic Extract : 5tbsp
Chilli Powder:1tbsp
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Lemon Juice : 4-5tbsp
Vinegar : 3-4tbsp
Salt : As Required

INGREDIENTS : [for the batter]
Fresh Coriander Leaves : 3tbsp chopped
Gram flour : 1small cup
Corn flour : 1/2small cup
Tandoori Masala Powder : 2tsp
Black Pepper Powder : 1tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1/2tsp
Salt : As Required

Oil to Fry : 100-150ml


Wash each fish thoroughly.... specially the stomach. Make slits on the body and marinate with the vinegar for an hour. Wash all the fish again under running water.

Now marinate the fish with the ginger & garlic extract, chilli powder, turmeric powder, lemon juice and salt. Coat well each of the fish, specially inside the stomach if you like me is not so friendly with the smell of sea fish.

Cover and let marinate for at least 2-3hours. Let us prepare the batter about 15-20 minutes prior to fry.

Take the gram flour and corn flour in a bowl. Add water little by little to prepare a thick paste. Add the chopped coriander leaves, black pepper powder, tandoori masala powder, turmeric powder, salt. Mix well to prepare a smooth but thick batter.

Heat oil in a pan or wok. Gently place two battered pomfrets on it. Let it cook at low heat until one side is done well and brown. The heat has to be low and hot at the same time.... which means we will continuously adjust it. We also need to coat the fish thick with batter.

Once one side gets brown, turn over the fish and let the other side be done well.

Once done, we will place them on to tissue papers..... and then transfer to serving plates. Enjoy hot with  some masala aloo, salad, your favourite chutney, sauce, hot / cold beverage or well... you know what I love to have.... do not forget to drop few olives in to your glass.