A Taste of Bengal : Sour

We started our exploration of Bengali home cooking with the bitter side of Bengali cuisine (check it out here), dishes that are primarily eaten in spring and early summer at the start of the meal. This week, let’s bring it home with a look at its sour side. Bengali cuisine has its own separate category…

Bengali Cooking Techniques (Part 3)

Combination Cooking So far in this series, we have talked about cooking techniques involving water and fat. This time, we will conclude the series and explore the realm of combination cooking, a loose term that encompasses all dishes that involve both water and fat as cooking media, which actually includes most Bengali dishes. A small…

Bengali Cooking Techniques (Part 2)

Cooking With Fat In Part 1 of our Bengali cooking trilogy, we discussed the moist-heat cooking techniques in the Bengali kitchen. This time, we will take a look at the techniques of cooking with fat. Before we start, it is necessary to clear out some terminology. Dry-heat cooking with fat basically refers to cooking with…

Bengali Cooking Techniques (Part 1)

The Wet and the Dry Chef Bill Briwa of the Culinary Institute of America claims that there are four primary cooking techniques: dry heat cooking with fat, dry heat cooking without fat, moist heat cooking and combination cooking. He claims that everything we do in the kitchen to transform foods falls into one of these…

A Taste of Bengal : Bitter

We’ve discussed quite a lot about bitterness already, in our FATS series and our Not Too Sweet series. This time, we will begin our exploration of Bengali home cooking by looking at the role in bitterness in Bengali cuisine. Bitterness is an important component of the Bengali cook’s arsenal. The resourceful Bengali knows how to…

Lockdown, Bong Eats and Rediscovery

For those of you who don’t know me personally, I’m a doctor with a passion for food. I am what most people would call a “foodie”, although I’m not a huge fan of the label. I love to eat, no doubt, but that is just part of it. I actually love all aspects of food;…

The Beauty of the Bhog

I’ve spent thirteen years in a missionary school. It was only when I joined Medical College Kolkata in 2012 that I was introduced to the concept of the school/college Saraswati pujo. From the arrangements and decorations to the pushpanjali, from the innumerable photoshoots in panjabis and saris to the khichuri bhog, it was a magnificent…

Going Bananas

After reading my article on Nose to Tail eating a couple of weeks back, one of my friends said “I wish you had written a little bit more about the veggies. Also, I can’t believe you missed the banana. There is no better example of nose to tail cooking in the vegetarian world than the…

The Magic of Kosha Mangsho

Kosha mangsho is one of those great Bengali inventions, that special occasion dish we all look forward to, especially during Pujo. It is one of my absolute favourite things to eat. A kosha mangsho, if made well, will have tender, melt-in-the-mouth meat with a rich, flavourful sauce clinging to it. Eating a good kosha mangsho…