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  • Cottage Cheese & Green Peas in Yogurt Sauce, Dahi Matar Paneer, From The Corner Table, vegetarian, indian
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    Cottage Cheese & Green Peas in Yoghurt Sauce | Dahi Matar Paneer

    I had always found it odd that some of the best cooks around me wouldn’t eat some of the foods they made. For instance, an aunt of mine makes some amazing Thai non-vegetarian food but she never tastes any of it. Why? Because she gave up non-vegetarian food decades ago for health reasons. Then there is a friend’s mother who cooks the best biryani I’ve eaten; she makes all of it without even tasting the biryani to adjust seasoning. She doesn’t eat rice and non-vegetarian food. So there! I’d always wondered at the strangeness of the situation and how these women managed to cook without wanting to eat the food…

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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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    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…

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    Shorshe Salmon / Salmon in Mustard Sauce

    Nearly a decade of living in the United Kingdom has made the elder sister a good cook and an almost expert in the art of ‘kitchen substitutes’. A cheerleader for the ‘quick and easy’ meal squad, Raka (the elder sister’s name that means ‘full moon’) confesses that she has learned by trial and error. “I would crave certain Bengali dishes that we’ve (her husband included) grown up eating but would not know how to make them in England. There were missing ingredients, be it the greens or fish or spices. It took me a while but over the years, with a little guidance from my mother and late mother-in-law, I…

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    Tongue-Tickling Chatpata Chicken

    With a cooking time of just 20 minutes and the flexibility of loading with as many vegetables as you want and seasoned with just two ingredients – turmeric and chaat masala, this is a winner. “I don’t remember where I learned this from but what I do know is that I love it and so do the kids. Makes that a win-win situation!” she says.