• Tuck-In

    Nariyal-Gaajar ka Halva | Carrot & Coconut Halva

    I have a strange relationship with expiry dates. I tend to forget about them until that moment of realization which leads to ‘mission expiry date check’. This is a mission in which you’ll find me combing through the medicine cabinet, my makeup stash, the spice cabinets and… you get the drift? The latest ‘expiry check’ had me cleaning out my mega makeup collection – I was left with an eyeliner and lipstick each. The scene was no different in the kitchen. Empty bottles of spices were lined up on the platform like school children gearing up for morning assembly. The near-expiry carton of fresh cream and an undated packet of desiccated coconut…

  • Tuck-In

    Ginger Chilli Chai

    I was looking through old photo albums a few days ago and unearthed the one of a family trip to Malaysia where the elder sister and brother-in-law were settled. This was roughly a decade ago when I was younger and was learning about food, always ready to try something new but still wary of the unknowns and unidentifiable on the plate. We never clicked photos of the food we were eating but a photograph reminded me of the trip to a chocolate factory and my first rendezvous with chilli beyond the way we use it in Indian recipes. I distinctly remember being floored by a bar of chilli-flavoured chocolate that my…

  • fromthecornertable, from the corner table, recipe, raw mango chutney, kaacha aamer chaatni, chutney, chaatni
    Tuck-In

    Kaacha Aamer Chaatni | Raw Mango Chutney

    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 –…

  • Tuck-In

    Narkel Naru | Bengali Coconut Confection

    The festivities celebrating different forms of the Goddess are nearly over – the Navratri fervour will reach its crescendo tonight with Ravan dahan even as the Durga devotees are gearing up for that final adieu, the idol immersion. That feeling of having enjoyed a festival to its maximum, mixed with that bittersweet emotion of the end of something good is palpable in the atmosphere. I’ve always had an intense dislike for this feeling. “Why must the festivities get over?” has always been my grouse. Even as a child, I would sulk after Navratri and Durga Puja were over… similar to a young adult sulking when the party is over. Trust my parents to have the perfect trick…

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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…

  • 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
    Tuck-In

    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…