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  • Tuck-In,  Talk

    Harepyaaz ki Lehsuni Khichdi | Spring Onion & Garlic Khichdi

    I’ve been feeling a bit off weather the past few days, having strained my right arm to the maximum with all the typing and keyboard bashing that I indulge in. Add to that the moody weather – at times cloudy, at times scorching – and I am feeling down in the dumps. At such times it’s comfort food that the body and soul crave. Cue in lots of khichdi – sometimes with kadhi, or roasted fish, or vegetable fritters or just some achaar. Khichdi, after all, is the hug in a bowl. As a Bengali growing up in Gujarat, I’ve had my share of khichdi at Bengali and Gujarati households. And the tastes varied in each…

  • 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…

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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…

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    Ol’er Daalna | 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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    Kashke Badamjan by ‘Kitchen Therapy’

    The best recipes, in my opinion, come from a mother’s memory. And she is also undoubtedly the best cook in the whole wide world. Little wonder then that I started off my culinary lessons under my mother’s loving and watchful eye. I happened to mention this to Kamini during our conversation that I’ve shared a few days ago. With the Kitchen Therapy girl sharing the same emotions, it was no pressure to ask her to share a recipe that she has been taught by her mother. She gladly handed over the recipe of a Persian dish called Kashke Badamjan that was taught to her mother by her grandmother! I made…

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    Savoury Mixed Lentil Crepes

    Yes. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So say my parents and half the world around me! But I sing a different tune. Coz for me, while breakfast is important, the mid-morning snack, lunch, evening bites, dinner and late-night craving are equally important. I don’t believe in playing favourites with meal times. No sir, not me. This forever kind of love affair that I have with meals has seen me tuck into a variety of meals, unhindered by the thoughts of side effects. Until recently, when I stepped into my 30s which automatically translates into constant reminders about eating right! It’s been a struggle to satisfy the…

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    Sprouted Mung Beans Salad Bowl

    Confession: I dislike fruits, vegetables, greens, and the category. Give me some fresh fruit juice or stir fry and I will gobble up the goodness in seconds. Hand me the raw and they will remain untouched. Which means all the greens and veggies in my salads have to be hidden under the egg, the pasta or, perhaps the chicken? “It’s like trying to cheat a finicky five-year-old into eating her vegetables,” grumbles my mother who belongs to the ‘eat fresh, eat greens’ school of thoughts. The elder sister Raka has managed to strike the perfect balance in this scheme of things. But I continue to struggle in this battle of…

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    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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    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…