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  • Tuck In

    Crispy Neem with Coconut | Neem Narkel Bhaja

    If the post title has not made you shudder and click away, then consider yourself smothered in a hug from me! I understand that sometimes it takes courage to even read about certain food items, let alone trying them or eating them. Mention squid or muskmelon and I want to run away. And there are several who follow suit when it comes to the idea of eating bitter neem leaves. But ‘bitter’ has been part of our daily meals since forever now. As is the case with meals from all regions of India, the Bengali meal too is balanced to satiate the six basic tastes. This, in turn, covers a variety of…

  • Travel

    How to Plan a Trip with your Best Friend

    My life wish list and travel wish list have one thing in common – ‘Travel With The BFF’ is scribbled on both in capital letters. That’s how much I’ve wanted to travel my best female friend(s) since… forever. I prefer to travel solo most times but I’ll never say no to an occasional trip if the company is good. And who can be better company than your BFF (best friend forever/best female friend) who has known you and your eccentricities for a few (if not several!) years. I’ve managed to travel with both my BFFs in the past two years – a trip to Kerala with one and a journey…

  • fromthecornertable, from the corner table, lal shaak, red spinach, chinese spinach
    Tuck In

    Stir-fried Red Spinach | Lal Shaak

    As a child, I used to be fascinated with the concept of a red coloured vegetable and immediately made it my favourite. What tickled me pink was the rice turning pink when mixed with red spinach. Seems it was officially my favourite food and the only time I liked the colour pink! Yes, I never appreciated the various hues of pink until I grew older and wiser and discovered hot pink. But that’s a story for another day. Going back to the red spinach or lal shaak as it is known in West Bengal, this lesser-known cousin of Popeye’s favourite food is filled with all things healthy. It should be…

  • fromthecornertable, from the corner table, recipe, raw mango chutney, kaacha aamer chaatni, chutney, chaatni
    Tuck In

    Raw Mango Chutney | Kaacha Aamer Chaatni

    One of the best things about summer in India is the abundance of mangoes! Walking into a fruit store these days makes me feel like a kid in the candy store – so many varieties of mangoes to choose from! My father tends to go overboard while mango shopping but thanks to my mother, we don’t end up covering every surface at home with the ‘king of fruits’. The mango crop in Gujarat has been a little unsatisfactory this year, says my father and the newspapers. But that doesn’t seem to have stopped the average Gujarati – and by that, I mean any person living in this Indian state –…

  • Tuck In

    Indian Butterfish Curry | Pabda Maacher Jhol

    I’ve got to start with a random confession… or confessions. It took me a while to figure out what pabda maachis called in English and with it came the realization that despite having grown up with the privilege of speaking and understanding 4 languages, I am not very good at either. Maa helped me fry the fish because all that spluttering and splattering scared the life out of me! Since I’ve just returned from Sri Lanka, the ideal situation would see me sharing some Sri Lankan recipes with you. I do intend to! I always did! Why else would I pester A into helping me pester accessible chefs into sharing a…

  • sri lanka, colombo, travel, fromthecornertable, black sunday, easter sunday, travel blog, from the corner table
    Talk,  Travel

    That Week in Sri Lanka

    It’s been over a week now since my best girl ‘A’ and I returned from a week-long trip to Sri Lanka. It was the first trip that we had managed to embark on together in the 13 years (or is it more?) that we’ve been friends. There are a lot of hangovers here – of memories, of photographs, of instances. While on one hand the two of us are constantly chatting with each other and rolling in laughter as we think about all the things we did, conversations with family and friends are a reminder of the shadow that loomed through the trip. You see, we were in Sri Lanka at the…

  • Tuck In

    15 Cooking Hacks for the Budding HomeChef

    This past year of learning the language of food, picking up recipes that have been in the family, understanding traditional cuisine and learning to adapt the food to the local produce has been possible only owing to the parents – especially my mother.  Were it not for her support, I would still be making the occasional instant noodles and egg curry. With Maa, I’ve taken the shaky steps from a beginner to someone inching towards intermediate. Interestingly, Maa is not a fan of cooking – despite being an amazing cook – and has several little tricks up her sleeve to make kitchen time easier. These tricks, she says, have been tried…

  • fromthecornertable, tuck-in, bengalifood, bengalirecipe, bengali sweet, dessert, indiansweet, boonde, dai, doi, yoghurt, yogurt, curd
    Tuck In

    Golden Sweet Balls with Yoghurt | Doi Boonde

    Those of you familiar with the food recipe I’m sharing today are probably having a good laugh at the translation of the name. And you should! I’ve been chuckling since I translated ‘Doi Boonde’ or ‘Dahi Boondi’ into ‘Golden Sweet Balls with Yoghurt’. I’m honestly at a loss for words here. The emotional connect with the delicious, crispy and sweet boonde are lost when I call them ‘golden sweet balls’ but what is the option? Where are the words that describe the rush of memories at the mention of making boonde at home? How does one translate the delight that used to fill this little girl’s eyes when they spotted the heap of boonde at the…