Diwali is around the corner. I miss the sweets and special fish dishes mom cooked for us around the festival holidays. Sumi and I don’t do anything special. But we try to have a different type of fish during these days which we would not have regularly. This is because fish is considered lucky and auspicious. We bought Paiya fish yesterday. I had it once before at a friend’s place and it tasted great.
Whenever it rains, it takes me back to my childhood. Both Boomboom and I grew up in the chilly Northern and Eastern India. Inherently, rains accompanied a severe drop in temperature. The perfect rainy evening consisted of crispy potato and chicken pakodas with coffee. Mom used to cook these frequently but they became tasted extraordinary on a rainy day. Our whole family would sit together and savor theses pakodas.
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.
It’s starting to rain at Bangalore these days. I love the rains. I miss the fact that it rains here usually in the afternoon. When I was growing up at Ranchi, there were no such timing. In fact there were quite a few days when it rained 5-6 days continuously. I have special memories of the lunch mom used to serve during these days. After coming back from school, I had to have bath (else no lunch).
Due to our diet and erratic cooking habits we always try to find the fastest way to cook food - be it chicken, fish or prawns. It’s been quite a few time, Sumi cooked prawns with the shell on. To be frank, I have never been a huge fan of prawn, leave alone cooking it with the shell on. But Sumi was adamant this time and the result was fabulous.
Sumi and I love Roast Chicken. However we always wanted to try and cook it ourselves. Alas all the recipes everywhere showed how to prepare it with the help on an oven. And since we live in a rented flat which doesn’t have the provision of an oven fitting, we are always at a loss. Everywhere we read, they said that Roast Chicken cannot be done in a microwave. So we finally decided to give it a shot anyways.
This is going to be the final post of the year. We have not been regular with our posting this year too but things have picked up since November and I am happy for that reason. We are visiting our parents right now and we’ve been here since 24th and we will go back to Bangalore on 1st. Sumi is still following her diet (minus the first day when she just couldn’t resist Mom’s cooking).
My favourite non-vegetarian item has always been fish. Mom tells me that the first thing I had at my “Annaprashan”, or the Hindu rite of passage, was fish even though they tried to push in rice grin. In our culture, rice should be the 1st food which an infant takes during the ceremony but I just loved the smell and taste of fish. Throughout my childhood, I loved fish so much that I used to get upset if there was no fish during lunch any day.
This blog is getting “fishy”. By that I mean, like true Bengalis, the majority of the next few recipes will be fish based. Now mustard is a very tasty and essential ingredient in Bengali cuisine. And in our case, its a perfect match even during our diet. However the way it is prepared differs among various regions of Bengal - this is particularly visible in the cooking of our moms.
I guess Prawns are growing on me. I should credit Sumi for it. She cooked this awesome recipe today and I want more. The past few months I have not been able to strictly follow a completely low carb diet due to personal reasons. From today we have decided to get back into the regime again. We went to the market yesterday and got some fresh prawns and lots of fish.