Chutneys are a mainstay in Indian cooking. They bring out the flavors of any dish. They can be used as an appetizer, be an accompaniment with your main course or can even be used as a dessert. They can be sweet or a savory. The type and preparation of different chutneys has significant regional variations. I love sweet chutneys. You can find one of my eternal favorites here. Sumi loves the spicy varieties more.
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.
If you are a follower of this blog, you will know that paneer is one of my favorite ingredients. I love paneer as much as I love chicken. I always try to experiment with different paneer dishes. However I have rarely tried to create a well-known paneer dish like Kadai Paneer. Since today is our weekly vegetarian day, I wanted to cook a paneer dish. I looked through some cookbooks and decided on creating a Kadai Paneer.
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.
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.
We’ve been having Chicken for the past few days. Usually as a starter and dry version. But we all know it’s difficult to just eat such dish without a sauce or a dip. Our most common dip in such cases is a raita. Raita is a very common extra in almost every part of India and there are a variety of ways and techniques to prepare it. Well this is our version.
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).
Paneer remains my all time favorite. When I was a kid (I am not one now despite what my mom wants me to believe), mom always made a paneer dish once a day. Lunch always used to contain fish, which is obvious as we were a typical Bengali family, but on Saturdays it was no fish. Instead we had a paneer dish. As far as I was concerned for me it made no difference.
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.
Happy New Year everyone. It’s going to be an exciting year ahead. We wish to thank all those readers who have started reading our blog last year. Your support means a lot. This blog almost stopped getting any updates due to our real lives but thankfully we revived it towards the later part of 2011. Our total recipe count stands at 22 now. Not a great number but this year we promise to be regular in our posts.