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    Korola aloo chorchori | Bengali-style bitter gourd & potato

    We are a family of bitter gourd lovers. Give us bitter gourd in any form and we will love it, especially if it has retained that light bitter taste – boiled, mashed and seasoned with mustard oil and salt; crispy fried; stuffed with spices; stir-fried – we heart this green. So much so that each time I am about to travel to Bristol to visit the elder sister and brother-in-law, the parents get nearly a kilogram or two of bitter gourd and then spend hours cooking it to crispy perfection. This dish is then securely packed in airtight containers which are opened only in the Bristol kitchen. I surmise that…

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    Neem Narkel Bhaja | Crispy Neem with Coconut

    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…

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

    Lal Shaak | Stir-fried Red Spinach

    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
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    Kaacha Aamer Chaatni | Raw Mango Chutney

    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 –…

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    Pabda Maacher Jhol | Indian Butterfish Curry

    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…

  • fromthecornertable, from the corner table, bengalifood, bengalirecipes, indianfood, fish head, fish recipe, non vegetarian
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    Muri Ghonto | Fish Head & Rice Mishmash

    One of the best parts of cooking is trying to find a way where there is zero or minimal waste of produce. It’s heartening to watch even cookery shows placing emphasis on the concept of zero-waste in an attempt to turn it back into norm rather than a trend. And I am well aware that I used the term ‘turn it back into a norm’. Over the years, I’ve seen my mother practice the same thought process that she has learned from her mother. For instance, the skin of the bottle gourd does not land in the washbasin. It is washed well and fried till slightly crisp, making it a perfect…

  • fromthecornertable, tuck-in, bengalifood, bengalirecipe, bengali sweet, dessert, indiansweet, boonde, dai, doi, yoghurt, yogurt, curd
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    Doi Boonde | Golden Sweet Balls with Yoghurt

    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…

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    Tomato Khejur Chaatni | Tomato & Dates Chutney

    There is an unwritten rule in the Bhaumick household – if the meal is non-vegetarian, then tomato chaatni (chutney) is a must. And it’s a must when the meal is vegetarian too. It’s a staple at most parties that involve food and an essential part of meals on special days. Few are the times when the refrigerator does not have a container of this delicious sweet and spicy chaatni. The rare times it is missing, it’s probably because… It’s beyond cold and one of us is suffering from a cold or aching joints Summers – because that is time for the raw mango chutney Tomatoes are as expensive as gold nuggets In the course…

  • fromthecornertable, from the corner table, traveltuckintalk, tuck-in, bengalifood, bengalirecipe, chicken, coconut gravy, narkel malai murg
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    Narkel Malai Murg | Chicken in Coconut Milk

    Think chicken with coconut milk and you’ll think the recipe I’m sharing today is inspired by cuisine in Kerala. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone told me that the original recipe travelled from the lush green landscape of Kerala to the homes tucked in the bylanes of Kolkata, cooked for the first time by an enterprising traveller who had returned home laden with experience and recipes. The first I read about this Bengali style of cooking chicken in coconut milk was within the pages of a Bengali book printed ages ago. It took me a while to decipher the Bengali script – I am not yet fluent in reading the…

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    Mishti Ghee Bhaat | Sweet Ghee Rice

    It’s the last week of the year for several of us and preparations are in full swing to celebrate the first day of the New Year. Invitations to attend community celebrations have already started making the rounds and the “I’ll-go-if-you-go” discussions have begun. In a week’s time, Bengalis worldwide will step into the New Year on ‘Poila Boishakh’ or ‘First of Boishakh’, the first day of the first month (Boishakh) in the lunisolar Bengali Calendar. Celebrated on either the 14th or 15th of April each other, it is one among the many other New Year celebrations marked by other communities and states. This year, we’ll be celebrating Poila Boishakh on April 15 along…