• fromthecornertable, from the corner table, tuck in, mangsho ghughni, streetfood
    Tuck-In

    Mangsho Ghughni | Mutton & Peas Curry

    I’m still staggering under the number of sweets I’ve gorged on in the past few days. Diwali season was literally a ‘mithai season’ (sweets season) for me with sweets made at home, others’ homes and store-bought making their merry way into my system. I won’t insult your intelligence by insisting ‘I couldn’t say no’. Nope, I could have but I am a greedy human being who loves her food too much and does not resist when someone holds a plate filled with goodies under her nose. However, after that mega sweet binge, my taste buds are protesting even that measly teaspoon of demerara sugar that goes in my cuppa. “We want savoury! We want…

  • 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…

  • Tuck-In

    Azeri KyuKyu | Herb-ed Omelette

    There is something magical in the way eggs, whisked thoroughly, seasoned with a pinch of salt and cooked in a pat of butter or oil, can produce something as deceptively simple like an omelette. And I speak of the basic omelette. Type in the word ‘omelette’ in the search engine of your choice and it will throw up variants enough to boggle the mind. Makes you marvel at the versatility of this dish. Why? Leave alone the fancy versions, look around. Every household and each individual standing at the stove, cooking an omelette, has their particular way of making it. I’ve been missing my regular egg intake for the last…

  • Tuck-In

    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…

  • Tuck-In

    Aam Dal | Red Lentil & Raw Mango Soup

    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…

  • Travel,  Tuck-In

    A Newbie’s Guide to Azeri Cuisine #Chapter2

    Did you know?# The process of making Azeri specialities dolma and flatbreads (lavash, katyrma, jupka, yufka) are inscribed in UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.# Azerbaijan cuisine boasts of more than 30 types of soups.# Black caviar from the Caspian Sea is among the most sought after in the world. Azerbaijan boasts of human settlements dating back to the Stone Age, a religious history that shows a shift from Zoroastrianism to Christianity and then Islam and an enviable cultural influence initiated by travellers who passed through the Silk Route. The violent political history combined with the above, have given Azerbaijan a unique identity.This uniqueness is reflected…

  • Travel,  Tuck-In

    A Newbie’s Guide to Azeri Cuisine #Chapter1

    There is a lot of food culture that goes on in the home and in the community in non-traditional ways. Food is a lot more than restaurants. – Eddie Huang (American chef, food personality) For me, home is where food becomes an expression of love, a comforting hug, a celebration, a new tradition, an experience, making it an extension of traditions that have been reshaped. So imagine my delight when I realised that a large number of my meals in Azerbaijan were to be homemade or a mix of homemade/store-bought, each meal planned with the intent of sharing more about the culture and traditions of a country and a family.…

  • Travel,  Tuck-In

    Chai, halva & Azeri hospitality

    One of the most beautiful memories that I have brought back from Azerbaijan has been the Azeri passion for food and the warmth they extend to those who appreciate this passion. The warmth that envelopes you as the food bearers — be it the lady of the house or the restaurant server — place the food on the table and serve it makes you feel like a king about to feast! I promise to make your mouths salivate and ensure that you dream about the wealth that is the Azerbaijani cuisine soon but before that, I do need to touch upon and introduce you to a fascinating experience that is part of…

  • IMG_E4763, fromthecornertable, from the corner table, water chestnut halva, photo: gautam chakravarty
    Tuck-In

    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…

  • Vegetable chops, A bengali snack. From the corner table, #fromthecornertable, from the corner table, fromthecornertable, food blog, travel tuck-in talk, recipe, bengali food, snack, indian cooking, regional cuisine, savoury, snack, indian street food, vegan, vegetarian, photo: Vaibhav Tanna
    Tuck-In

    Vegetables Chops and Nostalgia

    “At the hostel, we were only given a mug of tea – no milk or sugar – in the evenings. So our group of 5 would buy mudi (puffed rice) on the way back from college, take our mugs of tea and gather in one room. A sheet of newspaper would be spread open, the mudi poured onto this in a heap and the lot of us would settle down for an evening of gossip-tea-mudi. On special occasions, we would buy some vegetable chop for our evening snack,” said maa, thinking about her days as a student at the University of Calcutta, her face alight with memories as pishi (paternal…