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Chana-Motorsutir Dalna(Cottage Cheese-Green Peas cooked in a spicy vegetarian gravy)

Bengali cuisine has a wide array of vegetarian dishes. Contrary to popular belief, Bengalis do eat vegetarian food and not all our dishes revolve around fish or mutton. The annals of history state that in Bengal, when a Hindu and more particularly a Bramhin Hindu wife lost her husband and became a widow, she was dictated by society and religion to sustain herself on vegetarian fare for the rest of her life. This was primarily done as our Vedic texts suggest that the intake of onion,garlic, meat or fish increases sexual desire in a person. As widows constituted a considerable portion of the Bengal society, such desires were to be cured even before they began. Studies have been conducted on this and people have debated since time immemorial, but there is no concrete evidence to back this theory. Things are not the same as before as liberalism managed to change the staunch Bengali view on certain things. As such Hindu Bramhin widows had to abstain from meat in earlier times. But then wo…
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Murgir Stew (Chicken Stew Bengali Style)

Stews originated in the ancient times, somewhere between the 8th-4th Centuries BC, according to Herodotus. The Scythian were the first to make the dish in resemblance to the modern day Stew. When the Colonial masters came to India, the country known for it's heat and humidity succumbed them or rather their bellies. The masters ensured the help of their trusted cooks whom they had brought all the way from their native countries, and sought respite from stomach ailments over a humble bowl of stew.

With time, as it happens with most countries, there was a quiet trade over of stews and the Bengalis realized that the stew was in fact quiet a healthy dish, just devoid of the spices that the Bengali palate was used to. So the Bengalis, intelligent as they were, started rectifying the dish or rather started adding their knowledge of spices to it, varying the way it was normally cooked, and thus the Bengali Chicken Stew was born. To make it clear, Bengalis till date hold the record for  i…

Shorshe Mushroom Jhal ( Button Mushrooms cooked in a mustard-green chilli stir fried gravy)

Jhalis one of the taste component Bong cooks stive to achieve in the kitchen. Jhal basically means Hot/Spicy but it's the green chillies that often add the spice factor to plenty of Bong dishes. Bongs tend to love food on the hotter side, our taste buds have been trained like Shaolin Monks from a young age to develop decent hot tolerance. We have a lot of Jhal dishes, mostly with fish as fish and mustard-green chilli paste is a match made in heaven.
However we also have offbeat Jhal dishes, like this one. This dish is my ma's recipe, which was often made when I caught cold. The mustard acts as a Otrivin, it's pungency opening up a blocked nose and stimulating taste in an otherwise bland, sick tongue. Though Button Mushrooms still remain a luxury in Mafashal Bengal, my ma made this with Durga Chatu( Chanterelle Mushrooms), in mustard-green chilli paste in a dry gravy. The gravy should be dry enough to coat the mushrooms, but not a spoon more. 
I have had many people ask me,…

Japanese perfection at Wagamama

Japanese food is extremely popular worldwide. In the last decade or so Japanese food has managed to break barriers and promote itself to the exalted status of fine dining. Though the basics of Japanese food remains the same with a clever use of simple ingredients, moderate spices and quality protein, the result are often more than a humble bowl of food. In this respect the Japanese chefs have truly mastered the art of simple cooking.

Growing up in a small town in West Bengal,India, the chances of trying Japanese food were nil. There were only local food joints where one found the usual Indian-Cantonese food version that is now prevalent throughout the country. Chilli Chicken,Hakka noodles, Chicken Lillipop often being the bestsellers on the menu. It was only in the last 10 years or so that Kolkata has truly awakened to Japanese Food. Park Street, often known as the Khao-gully(food street) of Kolkata now hosts Zen, a fine dining restaurant that cooks Japanese, Malay and Chinese dishes. …

Breakfast done better at D'Arcy's

It's been a while I had written a review so my apologies for the delay. 
For those of you who have been living in Muscat or are frequent visitors to this beautiful city, D'Arcy's is a premier institution everyone is well aware of. And if you have been living under a rock, please get out of it and visit this restaurant because you will have the time of your life here.
I had earlier written a review on the restaurant on TA to which many of you responded favorably. However, in the FMCG business, premier institutions often fall behind in maintaining their level of excellence consistently. Sometimes, the restaurant that gave you your best meal in a new city often fails to deliver the same level of excellence over a period of time. As a food blogger and consultant, I tend to visit places which have impressed me with their impeccable standards, time and again, to check if they still excel or not.

So today out of the blue, early morning at 8.30 a.m.,GST, me and hub visited D'A…

Kolkata Potoler Dorma ( Stuffed pointed gourd in a Bengali style curry)

So here I am back again writing after quite some time. It been a very busy couple of months. I have travelled so much that currently I have 3 bags of unwashed clothes...I know..I know... But I just didn't wanted the poor Dhobi (laundry guy) an heart attack with that enormous pile of clothes. But I will do it this week.

Now travelling so much, there's so much to explore as far as food is concerned that the kitchen and I have been on a lovers-break. It missed me and I missed it. We both gave each other forlorn glances and were tormented by our separation. Any place I went to and tried new food, I would make mental notes of the things I would like further incorporate in that dish.

Finally one day Ma Annapoorna ( the Hindu goddess of nourishment and whom I always pray to before cooking something new) smiled down at me and got me and my kitchen back together in love. Hubby finally said he was a tad bit tired of the food outside and wanted something to be cooked off at home. I was mak…

Curry Kamal Ki: Soft, succulent chicken pieces cooked in a mildly spiced coconut gravy.

So I'm down with a stubborn bout of cough and cold just days before leaving for a Honeymoon/ Arts Festival in Penang, Malaysia...yeah! talk about perfect timing. I have hardly had any rest plus this really terrible cough is keeping me as well hubby and the neighbours awake through the night. So when the weekend came I was in bhangra mode till I figured out that it's weekend. And lunch and dinners need to be made....uggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Honestly I was in no mood of cooking but then I remembered what eating outside food meant...oily, full of spices and small portions...the bengali inside me was screaming for some 'Kosha Mangsho and Ruti'... but Ma being miles away in Kolkata, who will make it??? I miss her too much in times like this.... I mean my mother makes the best Kosha Mangsho.... Forget Golbari, which is a heritage institution in Kolkata, specializing in Kosha Mangsho; my mother creates magic in her kitchen. But here I was left to my own means.

But life is not entir…