Eggplant : Flavour Sponge

Last week, we started our eggplant exploration, with a predominantly Eurocentric approach. The focus was more on the custardy texture of the eggplant and its seamless interplay with other members of the nightshade family. This time, we will focus primarily on the role of the eggplant as a sponge for flavours, with a journey through…

Rituranga : Basanta-Grishma (Part 2)

Last time, we started our survey of the spring-summer Bengali meal, with a close look at the first course and the rice-dal duo. This time, we will explore the rest of the meal, starting with course the veggies, and one of my absolute favourite dishes. Aloo posto is an absolute delight. Cubes of potatoes are…

Rituranga : Basanta-Grishma (Part 1)

“Fragrantly scarlet on bare branches or covertly crimson amidst dark green foliage, the early flowers of spring arrive to signal an end to the mellow contentment of winter and to herald a brief, unsettling season……The variety of colours ranged on the trees and the fragrance of mango trees in blossom carried by the balmiest of…

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…

The CR Park Saga

I’ve been writing food articles for over two years now, and I’ve realised that my articles usually fall into two categories. The first type is an expression of the nerd in me, trying to craft meticulously edited articles with extensive internet research tied together into a clear narrative, then edited and re-edited until the day…

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…