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  • Tuck In

    Dimer Devil | Bengali Deviled Eggs

    Chops or cutlets are an integral part of the Bengali’s food culture, as is evident when a Bengali lists his/her ‘favourite snacks’ or ‘popular street foods’. Every one of us has his/her favourite bhaaja (batter fried) that we want with our lunch of dal-bhaat (lentil soup-rice) or the evening chai. The classic street food, a generous appetiser, the perfect accompaniment to the evening drink, a chop is destined to lift your spirits with the crunch of the deep-fried golden brown cover and the perfectly seasoned (and cooked) filling. Satisfaction guaranteed. There have been times when, as children, the elder sister and I have gazed with longing at that last chop as Maa urged it on…

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    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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    Nimki | Bengali Savoury Crackers

    An oval-shaped dining table dominates the living room of our family home. It’s the place where we eat our meals, yes. But there’s much more to that table. The dining table is where Baba* sits to sift through the daily mail and at the end of the month, attempt to make sense of my expenses. The table is where Maa prefers to solve the newspaper puzzles and crosswords. It’s my choice of seat with a cuppa as I read through gossip pages of newspapers or drool over the magazines I subscribe to. The table is where we dissect the ‘who said what’ and ‘why they said what they said’. It’s…

  • Doi Chicken, From the corner table, #fromthecornertable
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    Doi Chicken | Chicken in Yogurt Sauce

    Snippets of conversations tend to leave a mark on our thoughts, often popping up in our psyche at different stages of life. “As an individual, I have always wanted to create a legacy…,” a desire expressed by the founder of Readomania had struck a chord with me, leading to several moments of introspection about the notion of legacy and its various forms. Over the past two months, the family has seen mortality up close with the demise of family members and close friends. It has been especially difficult for my parents who had a special bond with each of these individuals. But the loss of my sister’s mother-in-law has shaken…

  • IMG_E4763, fromthecornertable, from the corner table, water chestnut halva, photo: gautam chakravarty
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    Singhade ka halva | Water Chestnut Halva

    As the loved up ones make plans for Valentine’s Day, several households in India will be preparing for celebrations of a different kind. On February 13/14, devotees of Lord Shiva across the world will be observing Maha Shivaratri (the Great Night of Shiva). For ardent devotees, this means staying awake through the night chanting prayers, meditating and fasting. If there is a Shiva temple in your neighbourhood then I urge you to plan a visit to see the festivities and perhaps have some bhaang too. There are several legends about the origin of Maha Shivaratri – an aunt of mine said it is the night Lord Shiva married Parvati, a…

  • patishapta, fromthecornertable#fromthecornertable from the corner table, fromthecornertable, food blog, travel tuck-in talk, recipe, patishapta, pithe, bengali dessert, bengali food, bengali sweets, crêpe, Photo: Vaibhav Tanna
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    An Everlasting Love for Patishapta

    If there is one sweet in the whole wide world that I can make a meal of, it would be the Bengali crêpe patishapta. But they have to be made by Maa or my paternal aunt. I struggle when I have to eat ones made by others; which in no way means patishaptas made by them are not good. Just that I have a finicky sweet tooth! #embarassedgrin So when Pishi (paternal aunt) came visiting in December, Maa and she had a gala time churning out Bengali delicacies, including pandering to my demand for patishaptas. Their only condition being I had to learn how to make them. Oh yes! I…