Machh : From Kitchen to Table

It’s that time of the year again. Pujo is over, the lights and music have subsided, and we Bengalis, with heavy hearts, are slowly returning to our daily routine. However, to keep some of the Bong spirit alive, we still have two instalments of the Machh series to deal with. Here’s Part 3… Last time,…

The Magic of Mangsher Jhol

In my house, mutton wasn’t cooked very often, and usually reserved for special occasions. One of those occasions was Pujo, when a batch of mutton would be brought from the market and cooked into a delicious jhol. Which is why, to this day, a mutton curry to me feels celebratory, almost ceremonial, and also why…

Machh : In the Kitchen

In Part 1 of this series, we began our journey with a visit to the fish market and an overview of the major cuts of fish. It’s time to get cooking, and what better to start with than the simplest fish dish possible? The recipe couldn’t be simpler: coat pieces of fish in salt and…

Machh : From Market to Kitchen

It is an understatement to say that fish is an integral portion of Bengali cuisine. It is hard to imagine Bengali food without fish and rice. The fertile delta of the Ganges means that there is never a dearth of freshwater fish, and we Bongs are experts at making the best of it. However, the…

Christmas, Calcutta, and Cake

Yesterday, we examined the basics of cake science, understanding the role each ingredient plays in the making of a simple pound cake. With the basics sorted, let’s crank the level up a notch. I like to think of Christmas cake as a glorified pound cake, since the technique and science remains the same, with the…

The Not-So-Sweet Shop

It is the winter of 2017 in Kolkata, and the clock has just struck 8. Thoroughly exhausted after a night shift, I walk out of the of Gate 2 of Medical College, half-staggering. I cross the road, walk over to Surya Sen Street, and into my favourite sweetshop. I order the usual: kochuri, aloor torkari,…

The Biyebari Formula

It is officially wedding or biyebari season, with social media being inundated with countless posts and photographs of happy couples tying the knot. Although we aren’t totally out of the coronavirus woods yet, there is finally a glimmer of light, a new hope. Of course, the wedding ceremony and reception isn’t a matter of joy…

Mishti : The Tale of Flour

Lakshmi Puja is over, and whatever Pujo fever we could have mustered this year is now slowly dying down. It is time to conclude our series on Bengali food with the final instalment of the mishti series, where we take a look at a variety of flour-based delicacies, which can be broadly divided into those…

Ode to the Kolkata Biryani

Kolkata Biryani is a dish very near and dear to my heart, and I’ve being wanting to write about it ever since I started my blog. However, I’ve been consciously putting it aside for a time I was better equipped to deal with it, doing it justice, so to speak. But unlike pastas or molecular…

Pujo, Inktober and Biryani

Pujo 2020 is downright weird. It is my first pujo away from home and family, and from what I hear from people back home, the vibe isn’t the same. The situation is dire, and under current circumstances, the best thing to do is stay at home and keep our fingers crossed that the next year…