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  • Tuck-In

    It’s Cake Stall Time Again!

    Oops… I’ve done it again. I’ve gone ahead and committed to being part of something that is adding to my anxiety-ridden life. One would think that being ‘experienced’ would rid me of all doubts. But tell me, does that one experience count? I still get sweaty palms when I think about those panic-filled days that followed my decision to host a cake stall at a Durga Puja pandal. The emotional meltdown, the nail-biting moment when my oven quit on me and the stubborn cookies. So much happened in those days. Why, then, did I push myself into that quicksand of nervous tension again? Perhaps to feel again that moment of…

  • Tuck-In

    Elo Jhelo | Fried Bengali Pastries

    I’ve recently developed a craving for sweet food. This craving rears its head at the strangest of times and more often than not, behaves like that puppy determined to chew on your favourite shoe. And it’s nowhere cute because indulging this craving leads to a sugar overload, late-r nights and blurry-eyed mornings. Let’s not even mention the not-so-good effects of refined sugar if I’ve fallen prey to store-bought mithai* or those glistening chocolate éclairs. It happens often. Very, very often. This new craving has also turned into a major topic of discussion at the dining table. The parents stand divided with their concerns. They both love sweets. They indulge their sweet tooth,…

  • from the corner table, fromthecornertable, traveltuckintalk, world vegetarian day
    Tuck-In

    How to Celebrate ‘World Vegetarian Day’?

    I’ll be honest. I was a bit flummoxed when I first read that October 1 is celebrated as World Vegetarian Day! As someone born in India, vegetarian food has been a part-and-parcel of life as far as memory stretches. My family loves its fish, meat, seafood and what not. But we love our vegetarian food as much. So much so that you’ll see the lot of us sticking to vegetarian food during the relentless summers – easy on the digestive system – and on some festival days – for spiritual reasons. Curious, I went on an internet searching spree – starting with the Oxford Dictionary – and found some rather…

  • Tuck-In,  Talk

    Harepyaaz ki Lehsuni Khichdi | Spring Onion & Garlic Khichdi

    I’ve been feeling a bit off weather the past few days, having strained my right arm to the maximum with all the typing and keyboard bashing that I indulge in. Add to that the moody weather – at times cloudy, at times scorching – and I am feeling down in the dumps. At such times it’s comfort food that the body and soul crave. Cue in lots of khichdi – sometimes with kadhi, or roasted fish, or vegetable fritters or just some achaar. Khichdi, after all, is the hug in a bowl. As a Bengali growing up in Gujarat, I’ve had my share of khichdi at Bengali and Gujarati households. And the tastes varied in each…

  • Travel

    Tips for Eating Alone while Travelling Solo

    You’d wonder why there needs to be yet another article on a topic that’s been done to death. I object to your ‘wondering’. There can never be enough aids to help someone get through the relatively stressful act of eating alone in a restaurant. It’s been a few years of solo travelling for me, enough not to have second thoughts when it’s about gearing up for the day with a hefty breakfast or giving the legs rest during lunchtime, ALONE. But when it comes to dinner, I still get sweaty palms and my anxiety does a rather enthusiastic tango. All of which lands me in the closest Subway or McDonald’s outlet…

  • from the corner table, #fromthecornertable, Maida Pakoda, #indiansnacks
    Tuck-In

    Maida Pakoda | Flour Fritters

    It was a gloomy monsoon evening, the skies overcast with thick clouds as raindrops lashed the glass panes, the howling winds a reminder of nature’s force. The parents were slumped before the television set, sipping on chai, as I sat on a sofa, struggling to concentrate on work. The sound of the doorbell jarred the gloom, the loud sound rousing us from the slump and forcing Maa to shuffle to the door. Who knew the opening of those doors would dispel the approaching dark, bringing in the joy of light, laughter and taste! Who knew that a plate of fritters would make us shake off the sluggishness and add the always needed munch to…

  • Travel

    Delving into the Depths of Cheddar Gorge

    No one is born a solo traveller. Somewhere along the path of life, you determine the need or desire to travel alone and then forge ahead. At least, that’s the way I look at it. I’ve been a latecomer to the world of solo travel. Till about five years ago, my solo travel time was limited to trips to-&-from home/boarding to the airport and a flight. Or the bus trip. Or the train journey. I’d never picked up my bag, packed in the essentials and ventured out alone. Until the time when I went to the elder sister’s in Bristol, United Kingdom, and dipped my toe – so to speak…

  • Tuck-In

    Mewe ka Paag | Dried Fruit-&-nut Bar

    Spot a festival marked on the calendar and I immediately start grilling my mother about the food. The latest conversation went something like this… Me: Maa! It’s Janmashtami on September 3. What’s special on the menu for the day?Maa: Hmmm… I could make payesh but then you are lactose intolerant so…Me: Okay. What else?Maa: Your grandmother made delicacies when we were kids but we never observe Janmashtami with much fervour so I’ve never bothered.Me: But Maaaaa………….Maa: Go ask Verma aunty; they celebrate Janmashtami every year, I’m sure she’ll cook up something special. And boy, was she right! Verma aunty – our front-door neighbour, Maa’s BFF and a brilliant cook –…

  • Travel

    Lacock: Of Pride and Pottermania

    I’m a Potterhead like that, you know. I was part of a generation that was swept in the Potter wave back in 1997. The first of J.K. Rowling’s magical series Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone came my way only in 2000 but by then, I had heard rumblings of this new world of magic within the pages of a book. The passage of time may have dimmed the magic – I may not remember the spells as Hermione did – but my love for all things Potter remains. Why else would I spend precious time queuing up outside the Elephant Room in Edinburgh (read all about it in Culinary…

  • Tuck-In

    Nimki | Bengali Savoury Crackers

    An oval-shaped dining table dominates the living room of our family home. It’s the place where we eat our meals, yes. But there’s much more to that table. The dining table is where Baba* sits to sift through the daily mail and at the end of the month, attempt to make sense of my expenses. The table is where Maa prefers to solve the newspaper puzzles and crosswords. It’s my choice of seat with a cuppa as I read through gossip pages of newspapers or drool over the magazines I subscribe to. The table is where we dissect the ‘who said what’ and ‘why they said what they said’. It’s…