It has been proven that Pohela Boishakh – the Bengali New Year – happens to be the largest and the most widely celebrated festival celebrated by Bangla speaking people all over the world. Overcoming the boundaries of faith, Bengalis from India, Bangladesh and all around the world, celebrate the advent of the new Bengali year with frenzy and fervour.
It is time again to shake things up with some Shak-it-baby! The group of leafy vegetables which features so prominently in typical Bengali culinary heritage that one really can not stay away from them for too long. Not long ago, I shared with you the story of Pui Shak and how with some prawns and pumpkins, this super veg could turn things around in your kitchen. In this episode, we switch focus on another shaking member of the same family and that is the ubiquitous lal-shak or red spinach, also called as red amaranth.
Chingri Malaikari or Coconut Prawn Curry, is a very famous and popular Bengali main course served with white Rice or Plain Pulao for lunch or dinner on special occasions or if you are like me for no rhyme or reason. I read it somewhere on a restaurant menu in which it was described as a ”Royal Bengali Classic”. It indeed is!
Just like the goddess Durga defeats all things evil with her mighty ‘dishoom’ of a blow similarly you can prepare yourself some dishoom of dishes during the festivities of Durga Puja to defeat the evils of hunger that keep haunting you as you hop from one mandap to another. Luchi, kosha mangsho and payesh are your must have must eat dishes to keep the empty stomachs at bay. This trio dishes of Luchi, Kosha Mangsho and Payesh complement each other and add to the sounds, colours, rituals and fervours of the last day of Durga Puja known as Bijay Dashami celebrations perfectly with their tantalising flavours.
Social media was buzzing on last Sunday with mother’s day updates. I’m kind of jealous about most people’s ability to express sentiment on their Facebook timeline in a manner that conform to stereotypes. To me, all that Mothers Day says, loud and clear, is that mothers are so sentimental that they will be satisfied with something so half-hearted. And, for the record, NO, its not practicable for everyone to have ”the best mom in the world” (that’s how it was mostly branded only for that ‘one’ day a year). Bad parenting exists, so do some horrible mothers with selfish motive. I don’t go in for this ‘one day a year’ for my mother. If you do, hope you had a good celebration, hope your mother said to you, ”I’m proud of you’ and most importantly, expecting that on next day, you did not go back again to neglecting your moms and ignoring almost every bit of advice they’ve ever given you about your life. Interesting fact is the UK celebrates their Mother’s Day on a different date to the rest of the world. Hmm…already confusing enough! Instead, what I did on Sunday is utterly voracious, literally.