Not that you have to live in Putney and cut knee to make some chutney out of some green mangoes. This mouth-watering ‘aamer chutney’ or ‘Mango chutney’ – a savoury side-kick making special appearances in Bengali dining can be made very easily as long as you can get hold of some green (unripe) mangoes from Indian shops (Bengali, Srilankan shops may also sell these). The speciality of this mango chutney is that ‘man….this goes’ with just so many Bengali food dishes.
The erstwhile Viceroy of India Lord Curzon would have thought twice before proposing to split Bengal in 1905 had he been regularly fed on yellow split peas (Cholar Dal) with some luchi.
If we should call a ‘spade’ a ‘spade’, then there should be no shock to call ‘Pui Shak’ – Pui Shak. Sure to quench the thirst of the curious minds, I am talking about Basella alba which is also known under various common names, including Malabar Spinach, vine spinach, red vine spinach, climbing spinach, creeping spinach, buffalo spinach and Ceylon spinach among others. However, given this is also a leafy vegetable making frequent appearances in the lunch and dinner menu in Bengali households that the true honour will be to call it by the name it is called at home – Pui Shak!
If you are shy to try Shahi Paneer (often pronounced ‘shy puh-neer’), you are surely missing out. So don’t be shy, heat the pan and reach out for some paneer (cottage cheese).
Are vegans more at peace when there are peas in their gastronomic wishlist? The green little round delights add a flurry of taste riot especially when in contact with some round and supple baby potatoes and when the opera on stove is orchestrated by the symphony of five spices – Cumin, Brown Mustard, Fenugreek, Nigella and Fennel to dish out an easy to make and fuss free meal.
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!
Faith to each, festival to all and feast for your appetite! On the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr, the largely celebrated Islamic festival marking the end of the fasting month, it is time to unleash your gourmand self. The dish that can very well be your flagship on the dining table can be the Murg Pulao which is an easy rice recipe made with chicken and aromatic spices.