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  • Tuck In

    Festive Snacking with ‘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 –…

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    Bengali Ol’er Daalna OR Elephant Foot Yam Curry

    Gosh! Have you ever marvelled and shaken your head at the ease with which the child version of you was made a fool of? I do! Seems I was a rather happy-go-lucky and trusting child, willing to believe almost everything the parents told me. And when it came to food – and yes, I was born a food worshipper – everything the parents said was taken as the gospel truth. Probably the reason why Maa got away with convincing me that the elephant foot yam curry and the raw jackfruit curry that she would make often were actually meat curries. Seems I was rather demanding a food lover and wanted…

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    Aloo Morich / Potatoes in Chilli Oil

    It’s creepy, the way social media throws up ‘Watch This’ or ‘Read This’ suggestions. From the usual food videos, discounts by travel companies, cute baby and pet videos and sitcom snippets to the more unusual ‘trending’ and ‘viral’ videos of people barfing, crazy challenges, strange habits, there’s a constant barrage of visuals. While I’m still wondering about that string of reptile videos that popped up in the explore section on my Instagram account recently – I am not a fan of the creepy crawlies – Facebook surprised me in a good way with a commercial that popped up on my timeline. Made for a beverage company, this commercial titled ‘My…

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    Bengali Aloo Posto (Potatoes in Creamy Poppy Seed Paste)

    “I’m about to board the flight/train. See you soon.”“Okay. By the way, what do you want for lunch/dinner?”“You know Maa! Moshuri daal, bhaat, ghee maakha aloo sheddo (red lentil soup, steamed rice, mashed potato seasoned with ghee and salt)” This conversation, or a version of it, is repeated each time I am on the way home after travelling for days/weeks/months. This ritual stems from the feeling of warmth and comfort that only potatoes can give. Nutritionists and dieticians have gone blue in the face urging me to stop eating this ‘fattening’ food. I’ve quit them rather than give up potatos. Sheer nonsense I tell you! Has there ever been anything…

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    Red Lentil & Raw Mango Soup | Aam Dal

    A news alert two days ago declared that the western part of India will experience monsoon “in 2-3 days”. This means me, along with scores of others, have joined a thousand others sending prayers to the rain gods! But until the rains arrive, I am busy enjoying the last of the mango rush. Like almost every Gujarati household – we are part Gujarati by virtue of the years we’ve lived here – we love mangoes. Green raw and tangy or orange fleshy juicy… we like it all. Maa does her bit to keep up with the aam (mango) demand with aam ras (mango puree), aam papdi (mango leather), aam achaar (mango pickle), aam chutney (mango chutney), aam panna (mango…