Today is Makar Sankranti, the day we celebrate the arrival of spring. It celebrates the oncoming harvest. Bengalis celebrate this day by preparing some special sweets known as “Pitha”. There are many types and I love all of them. My mom is an expert on these. I remember days of preparation in our home for the D-day. Most of the pithas had coconut as its main ingredient. My dad would buy lots of fresh coconuts and then he would grate them one by one.
Things have been hectic lately. After many days of constant work, we found free time this weekend. Sumi and I were reminiscing our childhood and I remembered the delicious Malpuas that mom used to make for us. She made it specifically for me as I loved them. Even though we have been to Kolkata 4 times the past 3 years, I last had Malpua 4 years back. I consciously asked mom not to prepare them for the past few years due to our low-carb diet.
My mom cooks wonderful mutton. Khashir Mangsho (Goat meat) is a popular delicacy in Bengal and is especially served during festivals. During our Durga Puja festival, on the Maha Ashthami (eighth day), Boomboom’s side of the family definitely have this dish. The gravy is turned healthy by adding loads of vegetables. These add great flavor into the dish. I have such fond memories of childhood. During the rainy days, I used to get so excited when I returned from school to a hot meal of plain rice and mutton gravy.
Bengalis are known for their sweet teeth. No matter what the occasion is, sweets are a compulsory portion of the menu. I remember indulging in all the lovely “Makar Sankranti” delicacies mom made like Pathisapta and Pithes. I also love Rasagullas, Sandesh and Langcha. The options are unlimited. However Payesh is considered one of the most auspicious sweet. During birthdays, anniversaries or any festivals, having a spoonful of Payesh is considered a very good start for the day.
It’s been ages since we posted a recipe. Things haven’t been very smooth at the home front. We have been extremely busy with our work. My parents are visiting us and there were lots of trips to the hospital to check whether everything is alright with them. Things are looking better now. The past few months haven’t been exciting cooking wise. We ate pretty regular stuff as mom wanted to eat regular food.