Tag Archives: Bengali

Chana Dal with Raisins

11 Jul

In my pre-teen years, food mentions in books would send my senses into overdrive visualizing them. The less familiar the food, the more vivid the imagined details. "Hot buttered scones", said Enid Blyton, and I pictured mildly sweet nimki-like snack twisted into conical shape, dripping with melted butter. "Lemonade" to my mind was a cross between nimbu pani and Limca. "Red radishes" were slender, graceful and blood red, more alluring than the humble white we had access to.

Reading Jhumpa Lahiri’s novel The Namesake, I realised I am not much changed today. Ashima makes "thick channa dal with swollen brown raisins" for her party. What can that be like?  Now I don’t just imagine, I cook my interpretation of it :)

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Aloo Posto: Poppy Seed Spiced Potatoes

28 Jul

Aloo posto is the quintessential Bengali dish – potatoes cooked in poppy seed paste, served with pooris or steamed rice. This delicately flavored curry gets its spice kick from two other trademark Bengali ingredients – mustard oil and panch phoron.

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Ridge Gourd Potato Curry with Poppy Seed Paste

28 Sep

My first attempt at cooking with poppy seed paste. This ridge gourd potato curry recipe is courtesy a Bengali friend, who tells me the cuisine of that area uses poppy seeds abundantly. Given how well this curry turned out, I know this spice is going to become a regular in my pantry.

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