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  • magnets, gifts, mementos, from the corner table, fromthecornertable, traveltuckintalk
    Travel

    The Magnet Stories #Azerbaijan

    A few years ago, the trend of refrigerator magnets trickled into our home when a ‘Statue of Liberty’ magnet found space on the fridge surface. Over the years, several magnets from India and abroad have jostled for space on the grey surface. From the front of the fridge, magnets made their way to the visible side and then gradually on the steel wardrobes in our rooms. I’d always wondered about the why of gifting someone a fridge accessory – answers ranged from “it’s the cheapest gift” to “its accessible” or “it shows they thought about us”, depending on the individual. But somewhere it played at the back of my mind…

  • fromthecornertable, from the corner table, labanga latika, labangalatika, clove, sweet, mithai, mawa, mishti, bengalisweet, bengali sweet
    Tuck-In

    Labanga Latika | Sweet Clove Parcels

    It’s amazing the way certain foods trigger memories of times gone by, relations lost in the passage of time – the memory brightening your mood faster than a cup of coffee or a quart of ice cream can. Labanga latika, a Bengali sweet dish, is one such food item for me. I don’t remember a time when I’ve not eaten labanga latika; I remember being fascinated with the way Maa would make these little envelopes of crispiness filled with sweet delights. The pretty manner in which the sugar syrup added shine and formed those crystals on this parcel, the anticipation of an explosive taste of a whole spice… all of…

  • rose cinnamon halva, ter khalvasy, halva, dessert, sweets, wheat flour, Diwali, fromthecornertable, from the corner table, traveltuckintalk
    Tuck-In

    Ter Khalvasy | Rose-flavoured Wheat & Butter Halva

    Whew…  It’s still five days to Diwali but in our house on the fifth floor of an apartment, we are already feeling the effects. Doors and windows have to be kept closed after 8 pm to keep out pollution created by the insane amount of firecracker bursting. Wonder what will happen by the time Diwali comes in on Wednesday? Diwali celebrations at the Bhaumick household have taken a comparatively sedate turn in the past few years. The firecracker buying-bursting process has taken a backseat to spending time with family, friends and food. But much more exciting and fun than this hustle-bustle of meet-greet-eat, is the prepping process. The atmosphere is filled with…

  • fromthecornertable, from the corner table, durga puja, bonedi bari puja, rani rashmoni
    Travel

    The Aristocratic Splendour of Durga Puja

    I know, I know… It’s been over a week since we bid an emotional adieu to Goddess Durga and almost everyone is in Diwali prep mode. Some of your houses and lives must resemble chaos now – pushing the painting/remodelling job in the house, the annual home cleaning session in progress, shopping and planning the Diwali mithai, etc. etc. I’m doing all that and some more whilst savouring the lingering effects of a festival spent well. This feeling will likely last till I am sprawled on the floor trying to get that rangoli (floor art) right. It’s going to be all about the Diwali (Hindu festival of lights) sparkles then! The Pujo this season was…

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    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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    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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    Elo Jhelo | Fried Bengali Pastries

    I’ve recently developed a craving for sweet food. This craving rears its head at the strangest of times and more often than not, behaves like that puppy determined to chew on your favourite shoe. And it’s nowhere cute because indulging this craving leads to a sugar overload, late-r nights and blurry-eyed mornings. Let’s not even mention the not-so-good effects of refined sugar if I’ve fallen prey to store-bought mithai* or those glistening chocolate éclairs. It happens often. Very, very often. This new craving has also turned into a major topic of discussion at the dining table. The parents stand divided with their concerns. They both love sweets. They indulge their sweet tooth,…

  • Travel

    Delving into the Depths of Cheddar Gorge

    No one is born a solo traveller. Somewhere along the path of life, you determine the need or desire to travel alone and then forge ahead. At least, that’s the way I look at it. I’ve been a latecomer to the world of solo travel. Till about five years ago, my solo travel time was limited to trips to-&-from home/boarding to the airport and a flight. Or the bus trip. Or the train journey. I’d never picked up my bag, packed in the essentials and ventured out alone. Until the time when I went to the elder sister’s in Bristol, United Kingdom, and dipped my toe – so to speak…

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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 –…

  • Travel

    Lacock: Of Pride and Pottermania

    I’m a Potterhead like that, you know. I was part of a generation that was swept in the Potter wave back in 1997. The first of J.K. Rowling’s magical series Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone came my way only in 2000 but by then, I had heard rumblings of this new world of magic within the pages of a book. The passage of time may have dimmed the magic – I may not remember the spells as Hermione did – but my love for all things Potter remains. Why else would I spend precious time queuing up outside the Elephant Room in Edinburgh (read all about it in Culinary…