Friday, October 7, 2016

Rice pudding with date palm jaggery...

'Durga Puja' is the biggest festival for us Bengalis around the world. The idol of Goddess Durga defeating the demon 'Mahisasura' which is worshiped during the five day long celebration is the true representation of feminine power where the divine mother is saving everyone from the evil demon. The Goddess is also worshiped all over India and the celebration is famously known as Navaratri, where nine days of fasting and swatwik food is taken as ritual.

In Bengal Goddess Durga is more like a daughter, who visits her father's place along with her children. During the five days of the festival Goddess Durga is worshiped along with her children, Ganesh, Lakshmi, Karthik and Saraswati. And this is the reason all the daughters till date long to go to her father's place during this time and most of them do so. Goddess Durga is more than a deity here, she is like the daughter in the family who stays away with her husband and gets a chance to meet her parents for these five days.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Everyday Bread...

Baking bread at home is easy and simple. Flour, water, salt and a leavening agent are the ingredients needed to make a bread and are easily available, The most commonly used leavening agent is yeast. I use active dry yeast, that's the easiest option for any home baker.

I love freshly baked bread and hence I bake often at home. I thoroughly enjoy the process of bread making, from mixing, kneading, rising to baking and serving it to my family. Previously I used to knead the dough by hand, which is of course time consuming and laborious. Last year I got a gift from my husband, a KitchenAid stand mixer, and my bread making ventures are thus more frequent and with ease.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Nolen gurer ice cream...

I scream you scream, we all scream for ice cream. When it comes to ice cream age is no bar, we all love it. I have been trying my hand on ice cream making for last few months, but never got satisfactory result till now. The texture, the smoothness, that I was looking for wasn't really there. Lot of research to find the reason took me to a detailed discussion on ice cream making on and I tried the eggless version. It came out really good. So here it is, my two cents on ice cream making from all the trial and errors that I went through.

Friday, August 19, 2016

How to make a simple vanilla cake...

Today I'm going to share a simple basic recipe for making a vanilla cake. A recipe that can be followed by anyone. For a long time I have been requested to post this but haven't done it till date. Though I bake this cake at least thrice a month as a snack for my kid. It is so easy and simple that my nine year old knows how to do it. 

This is the recipe I have seen my mother and aunts use while baking cakes in winter. It was like a ritual in our house to bake at least one cake during our winter break. I remember it was such a exciting day for us. It was more of an event. We used to announce with pride to our friends "today Ma's going to bake a cake, so we can't join you to play badminton this morning". Badminton, oranges and cake were such integral part of our winter days.

Coming back to the cake, there was an electric oven to bake the cake, a small round shaped aluminium  oven with flat top and bottom with a glass top from where you can see the cake rising. It was my father's duty to take out the oven from its box. Yes, it used to be kept in its original box throughout the year waiting to be used during winter for our family celebration of Christmas and new year.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Chapor ghonto...

Few days back I saw a meme that stated 'Vegetarian Bengali is a Myth'. My reaction was "are you kidding me!!!!". Really.. have you ever heard about aloo posto (Potato cooked with poppy seed), sukto (a bitter sweet vegetable stew), ghonto (vegetable mishmash), chochori (stir fried vegetables), the list is endless.
Unfortunately, Bengalis are universally labeled with mach-bhat (fish and rice) along with few cliche sweets like rosogolla and misti doi. Ask any celebrity outside Bengal they will try to say 'ami misti doi khete bhalobasi' (I love having sweet yogurt) in an obnoxious accent. I can ignore these useless attempt to win hearts by saying something that's written  either by their PR agencies or else said to increase their fan following. But when one call himself a 'Bong' and states that there is no such Bengali who follows vegetarian diet makes me think how much knowledge this new generation have about our rich food culture, and what makes them so irresponsible to make a comment in public forum and which gives a complete wrong conception about Bengali food.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

My Soba noodle bowl and passion of photography...

This post is going to be a bit different than my other posts. This will be more about my passion for food photography than the usual recipe posts I share. Don't worry, there is a recipe at the end,but I would like to call this one 'The monologue of a self taught food photographer'.

For last few weeks I was planning to add some movement, action and human touch to my food photos. But planning and execution are two different things, specially for a self taught photographer like me.

Whatever knowledge I have gathered about food photography is because of my food blog. During the course of shooting the food I cook, I have managed to understand and learn different aspects of food photography and there is so much yet to learn.

For me experimenting with the camera is the best way to learn. And I enjoy it immensely. I feel super enthusiastic about trying anything new, it gives me a rush, it is like a quest to do something I haven't done earlier.

While looking at a food photo, I  am always intrigued to get a feel of the story in it. Being a hardcore foodie and food lover, I think incorporating sense of movements like mixing the batter, or pouring sauce or holding a bowl of soup in a food photo brings out an emotion, it tells a story and that is what I love and want to share. I have shot a few like that previously, but all were very amateurish and I find them awful when I see those images now.

I am my worse critic, and I compare myself with the past me. The images I have taken earlier and now shows me it is an evolving process for a self taught food photographer. Photography in general needs planning and lots of trial. Sometimes it's frustrating but "never give up" is the mantra and above all enjoying your work is the fuel to keep on going. So I placed the camera on tripod, arranged a glass, a bottle and some orange juice and started. I tried a pouring shot. If you follow me on Instagram or like my Facebook page you have already seen the following image.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Lentil with lime leaves...

Yesterday I prepared a simple dal for lunch, a typical Bengali lentil soup, but something that turned it special. The dal was flavored with the leaves of Gondhoraaj lebu. Gondhoraaj literally means king of aroma and it is native to Bengal. These are somewhat similar to kaffir lime. From a welcome drink to main course to desserts, these elongated thick skinned large limes work wonder. Usually these limes are cut lengthwise into wedges and served along with Bengali meals, either a simple dal or a spicy bowl of mutton curry, it uplifts every single dish.