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    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…

  • fromthecornertable, from the corner table, lal shaak, red spinach, chinese spinach
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    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
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    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 –…

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    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…

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

  • 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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    Creamy Bengali ‘Mishti Doi’ (Sweet Yoghurt)

    Mention that you are a Bengali and conversations are bound to lead to Rabindra Sangeet, Kolkata and food. There are assumptions galore that with Bengali genes you are a walking encyclopedia of all things mentioned above. It’s rather amusing – for me at least – when I say I’m not very knowledgeable about either of these. Having been brought up outside Bengal, my exposure to culture has been varied – I’ve learned a few things Bengali from my parents, I’ve learned several things Gujarati having grown up in Rajkot-Baroda-Ahmedabad (cities in Gujarat) and I’ve learned loads of things pan-Indian owing to my friends who’ve been from different parts of the…