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  • 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, 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…

  • Kamini Patel, Kitchen Therapy, #fromthecornertable, #kitchentherapy
    Talk

    Finding Therapy in Pots and Pans

    I was all of 18 when I marked the first international trip of my life. It was with the elder sister Raka, and we flew to Bangkok where she was pursuing a Masters’ degree. We stayed in her boarding room, part of a two-room unit with a shared bathroom and kitchenette. My first memory of that trip – other than drunken co passengers on the international flight – is of waking up to a smell that left me gasping for breath. As I stumbled out of Raka’s room to find her in the kitchenette, she introduced me to her neighbour of Thai origin and the smell – it was breakfast…

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    ‘Chilli’-ng with the Potatoes

    I adore chilli chicken – give me chilli chicken for breakfast, lunch, dinner and I would be a happy soul. Methinks, that can be said for chilli potato too now. Chilli chicken is an Indo-Chinese dish popular among the masses. Found at street-side food joints being served on flimsy plastic plates or at a fine dining restaurant, looking too pretty to be eaten, the chilli chicken is everyone’s heartthrob. Much to my surprise, and the delight of vegetarian friends, I found out chilli chicken has a cousin, the chilli potato. Manu, the owner of our accommodation in Munnar, served his version of the chilli potato on a cool summer evening, paired with a glass of wine. My taste buds did the jiggy-whiggy as I savoured the crispy piece of potato, coated with the sauces, the flavours of garlic and ginger taking me to taste heaven. True to myself, I demanded he share the recipe. I might have scared the gentle chap, but he…

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    Payesh & Goodwill to Usher in the New Year

    It’s that time of the year! I’ve been waiting for Poila Boishakh, the first day of the Bengali calendar, for some time now. Celebrations aside, the best part of this day is the aroma of traditional food that wafts out of the kitchen. This year, Poila Boishakh is on Sunday, April 15. The food and rituals, I feel, are a testimony to the synergy that Bengalis have towards their traditions. Not just Bengalis. Peep into the homes in your neighbourhood (not literally!) and you will see the Assamese, Malayali, Sikh, Tamil households busy cleaning house, prepping to greet guests and cooking up a storm. A sign of the earnest desire…

  • from the corner table, fromthecornertable, traveltuckintalk, travel tuck-in talk, musings, kitchen stories, inspirations
    Tuck In

    Musings from the kitchen corner

    As a child, Enid Blyton’s Famous Five novel series was an absolute favourite. I loved the characters and adored Timmy. He was (and is) my dream dog. My favourite part in all of these books – apart from the adventures of these oh-so-daring kids – was the meal times! Fresh scones, slabs of cake, ginger buns, potatoes baked in jacket, sandwiches, and lemonade made my mouth water. Blyton’s other books too had protagonists feast on food like potted meat, shortbread and fruit cake with almonds that sounded so exotic to the child that I was (some of it still does #honestconfession). I distinctly remember that when play acting any of…