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.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Sandesh...


I'm not an expert when it comes to cook in microwave, I mean solely using the micro feature. Grilling and the convection mode are frequently used but the microwave mode is only used for re-heating food in my house. It works wonder when I need to dehydrate herbs or to blanch almonds.

So when Indrani a co-blogger and a member of Kolkata food blogger announced an event to cook something using microwave and solely microwave not the grilling or convection option, my first thought was  that I need to pass this. But before saying 'quit' I gave it a little thought and came up with this very simple easy idea of making sandesh in microwave. I make sandesh very often to lure my kid to eat homemade cottage cheese or chana, which is  usually  falls in her "reject" category.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Thai red curry noodle soup..


What to cook? is a more difficult question for me than who landed  a rover on Mars, specially for weekday dinner. Someday you do not feel like picking up the knife, pots and pans and to cook. Eating out may be a solution, but I avoid that on weekdays as much as possible and try my best to prepare something fresh and healthy for my kid.

To do this, I usually plan ahead. During weekend, I plan for the weekdays meal, and it really helps. I buy things accordingly on  the weekend and stick to my plan. Yes, at times I  do slip,  may be due to health issues or just lack of energy. But mostly I  try to follow my laid out plan.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Lauki kofta...


Koftas generally refer to meatballs made of minced meat of beef, lamb or chicken are mixed with spices shaped to round balls and are fried. Unlike middle eastern and central asian cuisine,  you can find many vegetarian varieties of kofta too in Indian cuisine. Potato, paneer, banana, bottle gourd etc are mashed or grated to make koftas. These koftas are then dunked in a  flavourful and spicy gravy to prepare a delicious curry. Kofta curries are very popular in India, be it veg or non-veg.