All posts tagged: Bengali cuisine

1-2-3 Chingri Malaikari

Give me a recipe for Chingri Malaikari and I’m going to make it. The idea of pink prawns floating around in a fiery-sweet silky curry is too much for me to resist. This Bengali preparation is always on my order list whenever I go to Oh! Calcutta, Bhojohori Manna or Esplanade. I can’t really say which one is my favorite because each time I eat it, I am lost in the delicate flavours of this exquisite curry.

Amar Sonar Bangla – Bengali Food Festival @ Cubbon Pavilion (Residency Road)

Bengali Food holds a special place in my heart. From standing in line at the Ulsoor Bengali Association as a nine year old waiting for Bhog to be served, or having the canteen attendant set aside extra rosagullas for me as a student in IIM Calcutta or finally being surrounded by so many Bengali’s at work that Muri Ghonto was as familiar as sambar. I am irresistibly drawn to this wondrous cuisine that has great reverence for its ingredients, method of cooking and perfectly balanced flavours. Like a moth to a flame, I land up at the Cubbon Pavilion for a festival that celebrates the land inspired by poetry – “Amar Sonar Bangla”. Chef Bhagmita Jena hails from Dhiga, a small town at the border of Bengal and revels in the opportunity to showcase a cuisine she adores, to the rest of the world. Years spent in the kitchen watching her mom churn out exquisite Bengali recipes cemented her love for cooking. The diminutive Bhagmita’s passion for her art is clearly visible in the spread …

Kosha Mangsho – Bengali Mutton Curry

I am generally not encouraged to whip up Indian delicacies in my kitchen. According to my husband, the dishes pale in comparison to the ones his mom and my mom make. (#pissed). Praise for my Indian recipes (from him) are few and far between, so I have given up trying to fight the matriarchy bias and slowly relegated myself to cooking other cuisines when he’s around. There are a few things however, that he has warmed up to over the years we’ve been together – my excellent Nimbu Dal, killer Andhra Chilli Chicken, Spicy Mangalore Chicken Ghee Roast and the decadent Kosha Mangsho. In this domain he has unabashedly crowned me Queen Bee. It’s not that his opinion on my kitchen skills matter a whole lot – it’s just that I’m super competitive and I like to win…at everything. If that means sneakily perfecting a few dishes that leave no room for competition – then so be it!

Chingri Malai Curry (Bengali Prawn and Coconut Curry)

Bengali food resonates with me on a deeper level even though I’m a pucca Southie. Maybe it’s the rice that bonds us (Bengali’s also eat rice with every meal!), or maybe my love for rosogullas and rasamalai’s have sweetened me towards them, or maybe it’s the fact that half the employees in my ex-company were Bengali! For whatever reason, I love Bengali food. The one thing that I always order in a Bengali restaurant (apart from their gorgeous desserts) is Chingri Malai Curry. Chingri means Prawns and Coconut is used as the base in this curry to give it the quintessential creaminess. This is the mecca of what a curry should taste like for me – Rich, spicy-sweet and comforting. There is this little Bengali restaurant in Indiranagar that serves this curry in a Tender Coconut with the tail of the Prawn sticking out. Just seeing it makes my heat beat faster! The curry also has pieces of tender coconut in it that I love nibbling on. Though I don’t think that’s really the authentic …

PanchPhoran Dal (Five Spice Lentils) – Comfort food at it’s Best!

I know I’ve said many times that making regular dal and rice bores me. That dosen’t mean I don’t make it. No week is complete without Dal being made atleast twice. It’s what we grew up on and it’s what I crave when I come back from a long trip to unfamiliar places. Eating dal and rice with a veggie on the side and a smattering of pickle is nothing short of a homecoming! The fact that it’s such a commoner on the dinner table and gets made so often, I’ve actually never written down a recipe for dal. So this was my first attempt at documenting the precise quantities. I kept a little sheet of paper next to me and kept jotting down what I threw into the pan. Now I finally have a dal recipe that I can pass to the co-resident and ask him to attempt it when am too bored to move a muscle J We use mustard seeds and curry leaves to temper the dal. However, this one uses a …