My style Chicken Kadai!

Cooking, DIYs, Uncategorized

Kadai chicken is a bellwether dish of Indian cuisine, a favourite in North Indian households and today there are varieties of both non-vegetarian and vegetarian versions of this dish. Use freshly pounded coriander and cumin seeds gives out a distinctive aroma and flavour. Though Karahi dishes originated in Afghan and Persia yet Karahi gosht is said to be a dish of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as NWFP).

Landi Kotal, a rustic and traditionally Pukhtun town, sitting close to Afghanistan atop the Khyber Pass. The Shinwari and Afridi tribes hail from this region and it is also considered to be the historical home of the balti or karahi gosht. From Landi Kotal, the delicious balti gosht travelled to Punjab and then the rest of the world.

Karahi curry literally refers to any curry cooked in a karahi. Usually, Karahi is a tomato-based curry with very few spices like ginger, garlic, green chillies, cumin, coriander and pepper. So, at times when we are cooking chicken in tomato puree, it either gets over-cooked and chicken flesh comes falling off the bone or else tomatoes have a raw taste if cooked on high flame. Both conditions will spoil the taste and delicacy of Karahi. This dish is noted for its spicy taste. The Pakistani version does not have capsicum or onions whereas the North Indian version uses both.

This is how I make it.


  1. Chicken 750gm
  2. One large onion peeled and diced
  3. 1 large capsicum diced
  4. 2 green chillies chopped
  5. 1 tsp ginger paste
  6. 3/4 tsp garlic paste
  7. 2 medium tomatoes pureed
  8. 2tsp onion paste
  9. Turmeric-1/2 tsp
  10. red chilli powder or paprika-1/2 tsp
  11. cumin powder 1 tsp
  12. coriander powder 2 tsp
  13. 1/2 cup water
  14. Salt to taste
  15. Oil-4 tbsp
  16. 1tsp butter
  17. 100ml cream
  18. chopped fresh coriander

For karahi masala powder

  1. 3 tsp coriander seeds crushed
  2. 3 tsp cumin seeds
  3. 6 black peppercorns
  4. clove 4/5
  5. green cardamom 2/3
  6. brown cardamom 1
  7. Cinnamon 1inch stick
  8. Bay leaves 2
  9. Dry whole red chillies 2
  10. Mace 1/2
  11. 1/2tsp of garam masala

For tempering

1.1tsp coriander seeds crushed

2.1/2 tsp cumin seeds

3.6 black peppercorns

4.clove 4/5 cardamom 2/3

6.brown cardamom 1

7.Cinnamon 1inch stick

8.bay leaves 2

9.dry red chillies 2


  1. Dry roast the karahi masala spices in a pan for about a minute or two until fragrant.Grind to a coarse powder in a food processor.Keep aside.
  2. Heat a karahi or wok, add oil.Once heated add the diced capsicum and onions. Saute until slightly golden. Keep them aside.
  3. Add Little oil, let it heat then add the chicken and ginger,garlic paste. Saute for about a minute.
  4. Add salt and red chilli powder. Saute for another few minutes.
  5. Add turmeric, little chopped green chillies, cumin, coriander and 1 and a half teaspoon of karahi masala powder, mix well on medium-low heat.
  6. Add the pureed tomatoes and cook for few minutes. Add water and cover it till the chicken is fully cooked.
  7. Add the butter and the cream, sprinkle little bit of karahi masala on top.
  8. Garnish with chopped coriandar and serve with hot with paratha or roti.

Brownie points: Adding red chilli powder before turmeric enhances the colour the the dish.

My daughter’s Chicken Steak!

Cooking, DIYs
Steak thaT Ditsha makes

From Old Norse steik is “roasted cut meat perpendicular to the muscle fibers”. Steaks are typically served grilled, pan-fried, or broiled. The more tender cuts from the loin and rib are cooked quickly, using dry heat, and served whole. Less tender cuts from the chuck or round are cooked with moist heat or are mechanically tenderized. Tenderised steaks, breaded, and pan-fried or deep-fried, are called country fried steaks.

The tender cuts are cooked on a hot griddle then shredded and served on Italian style rolls are called Philly steaks, named after Philadelphia, the city in which they became famous.

In the United States popularly a typical steak dinner consists of a steak, baked potatoes, along with some cooked vegetables, some corn on the cob, green beans, creamed spinach, asparagus, tomatoes, mushrooms, peas, and onion rings. A well-known accompaniment to steak is shrimp or a cooked lobster tail. this combination often called “surf and turf” or “reef and beef” and “pier and steer”. Rounding out an American steak dinner is some sort of bread, usually a dinner roll.

In the United Kingdom, steak is served with chips (known as fries in the US), fried mushrooms, and a fried tomato. Vegetables such as peas, carrots, or a green salad can also be served. Relishes like English mustard and ketchup are regularly used.

French like their steaks with French fried potatoes or ‘Frites’ This combination is known as ‘steak-frites.’ A green salad may follow or be served at the same time. The same is followed in Argentina.

Italian didn’t eat steak until after WWII. Some areas of Piedmont and Tuscany was renowned for the quality of their beef. Florentine-style steak is a well-known specialty of Florence; it is typically served with just a salad or Tuscan beans. From the 1960s onward, economic gains allowed more Italians to afford a red meat diet.

Steak is often rubbed with mustard and pepper, and marinated in vinegar and vegetable oil for up to a week in the Balkan region, It is then fried in butter, and a slice of toast is then used to soak up the pan drippings. Then it is served on the toast and topped with fried egg and a sprig of parsley.

Worldwide steak sales have been known to rise around March 14th every year. The reason that you all need to search.



1st Marination:

  1. chicken breast 500gm
  2. Ginger paste 1 tsp
  3. Garlic paste 1 tsp
  4. black pepper 1/2 tsp
  5. cayenne pepper 1/2 tsp
  6. salt 1 tsp
  7. Butter milk 200ml

2nd Marination:

  1. ginger paste 1/2 tsp
  2. Garlic paste 1/2 tsp
  3. BBQ sauce/ HP sauce 2tsp
  4. 4tsp of oil


  1. Butter
  2. Rosemary
  3. Whiskey/ Alcohol


Marinate the chicken overnight. Next day, add further ingredients and marinate for two hours. Heat the pan pour 2 tsp of oil add the chicken breast one by one. Pan fry both the sides till it is golden brown. Take it out and keep it aside. Add butter to the pan, when it turns light brown add rosemary and whiskey. Now baste the chicken with the butter mixture for a half a minute. Serve with your favourite sauce, some chips and salad.

From the kitchen of Tagores.

Cooking, DIYs

From the kitchen of Tagores or ‘Thakur badir ranna’. It was not only elaborate but it was another creative art with new innovations and amalgamation of east and west. Rabindranath Tagore being a frequent traveller, visited places like Italy, Spain, England, Turkey, Japan. His love for food was so, that he used to collect and bring back the menu cards and the recipes. A fondness to blend two different forms of cuisine came naturally, because of his ever expansive creativity and his exposure to Indian as well as continental cuisine. Thus Thakurbari kitchen underwent a culinary revolution. ‘Thakur’ became Tagore during British rule and ‘badi’ meaning the household of Tagores in Jorashanko, which today is the Rabindra Bharati University in Kolkata. 

The Tagore family indeed loved experimenting with peculiar flavours. Vegetables like pointed gourd and jackfruit were cooked with green mango, beetroots were boiled and blended into a paste with poppy seeds and green chillies. Eggplants chutney made with tamarind, sugar and mango ginger (aam ada) a ginger smells like mango. Fritters made with leftover rice. The kitchen was brimming with ideas and innovation found a new meaning with recipes like vegetarian egg curry where the insides of a potato were scooped out and stuffed with mashed lentils to resemble eggs and then cooked in a gravy.

In between the 19th century and 20th century, not only literature and painting flowered in the Tagore household, but the kitchen also became a centre of creativity. Apart from writing, painting and music, the women of Thakur badi were mastering in cooking too. There was keen competition among the Tagore wives.

Rabindranath Tagore’s niece, Pragyasundari Debi not only discovered new dishes, but she also made the effort to write down the recipes and publish them. Her first cookbook, also known as the first cookbook in Bengali, “Amish O Niramish Ahar” was published in 1902. She believed that “Spending a lot of money is no guarantee for good food”, she encouraged to use inexpensive vegetables efficiently. She did not believe in wasting any part of a vegetable, even for potato skin and pointed gourd seeds were turned into an entree. She also introduced the concept of menu cards in Bengal, often naming some dishes after family members, like Dwarakanath Firnipolau, Rammohun Dolma Polau etc.

Rabindranath’s favourite niece Indira Devi Choudhurani also maintained an exercise book of recipes. The khata((dairy) was inherited by Purnima Tagore, granddaughter of Tagore.

Today I am recreating one of the vegetarian recipes of Thakur Bari, mentioned By Purnima Thakur in her book. Since measurements and process is not clearly mentioned I used my instinct to create Mung beans and pointed gourd with grated coconut. The outcome was beyond my expectation.

Recipe of Mung bean and Potol


  1. 150gm of mung beans/ moong dal
  2. 250gm of pointed gourd/ parwal/ potol
  3. 1 teaspoon of ginger paste
  4. 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  5. 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  6. 1 teaspoon of sugar
  7. 1/2 teaspoon of red chilli powder
  8. 2 teaspoon oil, preferably mustard
  9. salt to taste

for tempering:

  1. 2 cardamom
  2. 4 cloves
  3. 1inch stick of cinnamon
  4. 1dry red chilli
  5. 1/4th teaspoon cumin
  6. 1 bay leaf
  7. 1 teaspoon ghee


Dry roast the mung beans, wash and keep them for boiling with 200ml of water. Add turmeric, salt, red chilli powder and cumin powder. While the dal is cooking, peel the pointed gourd, slice them into halves, fry them till they get light brown. when the dal is semi-cooked add the pointed gourd and add the keep adding water little by little if the dal is still uncooked. Do not put a lot of water at one go. The dal should not be overcooked yet it should be of thick consistency. when the mung bean and the pointed gourd is cooked properly, add the sugar. Its time to temper the dish, pour the ghee in a pan, when it gets hot turn off the gas first before adding the cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, red whole chilli, bat leaf and cumin seeds. When it starts to sputter add it to the cooked dal. Garnish with grated coconut and serve with hot rice or chapati.

Quarantine’s food Part 2/ Milky cucumber/ doodh shosha

Cooking, DIYs, Uncategorized

Women had a complex relationship with food in the past. Asking for food was highly objectionable in 19th-century Bengal, so much so that even little girls were taught that showing one’s hunger was a shameful act. More so the condition of the widows were pitiable. In my previous blog, I have talked about how the widows of Bengali were the architects of the new set of Cuisine as they did not have the choice of eating non-vegetarian food.

Widows would cook with cheap and easily available vegetables. Often they would have to do with the skin peels, which today has become a delicacy. In future, I will be sharing many such recipes where a dish is created by the skin peels. For today let do something with the leftovers.

A week back I bought some cucumbers to make sandwiches, I got lazy and they dried up. Didn’t want to waste them, so I dipped them in water and kept them for a few hours. Osmosis made them gain back some of their lost moisture and all ready for my “Doodh Shosha”/ cucumber curry with milk.

So now the recipe,


1.1/2 kg of cucumber(diced)

2.Green chilli 2 pieces

3. Panch phoron 1/4 teaspoon

4. Dry whole chilli 1 piece

5. Salt to taste

6. Suger 1 and 1/2 teaspoon

7. Milk 150 ml

8. chopped coriander for garnishing

9. Bundi or small Besan(Gram flour) pakodas

10.Mustard oil 1teaspoon


Pour oil in the pan/kadai, once heated add the dry whole chilli and the panch phoron for tempering. Now add the cucumbers, green chillies and salt, saute for about ten to fifteen minutes in low flames, when the cucumbers are semi-cooked, add the milk and cover for another ten minutes, check-in between. once the cucumber is fully cooked add the sugar and the besan pakodas/ bundis. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with steaming hot rice. I prefer to have it cold the next day with hot rice. Quick, easy and simple. perfect dish for summers. So enjoy!!

Brownie points: You can try the same recipe with bottle gourd and ridge gourd too. You can cut off the sugar if you don’t like the sweetness but I personally suggest add sugar if you want to get an authentic Bengali taste.

An effort to turn Phobias into fluttering butterflies.”

Lifestyle, Personal life stories, reality scoop, Uncategorized

The prologue

We all have fears, some are dormant and some, alive and kicking! But has anyone experienced a change in behaviour altogether? I have. That point of time its just me and the object of my fear. My rational thinking completely vanishes. Maybe this irrational fear and the associated change of behaviour is called a phobia.

When I was little, I was bitten by a street dog and then fourteen anti-rabies injections. I used to be taken to the hospital for my everyday dose of injection and I would faint blue for hours, I so vividly remember. A perfect reason to have cynophobia and Trypanophobia. it has not made any difference even though today I have a dog as a pet.

My claustrophobia and fear of height developed much later in life, after my first delivery. If I look too deeply into my life I might find a reason for it but fear of deep water or as professionals would say thalassophobia, which I had it since I was 3years old, I am completely clueless about it. These fear are locked inside me for ages and by now to some extent, I have come to term with them. What torments me the most even today is the fear of losing someone I love and fear of being unimportant to family and friend. This is something I have been fighting since I was 5years old.

It was in my kindergarten days, few innocent children were playing and one of them was trying to be pally with the rest, trying to make them happy, make them laugh with her comic gestures. Suddenly few of her friends were about to leave and this child felt her world will fall apart. She begged her friends to stay and they agreed, in return, they asked the girl to put her head down on the desk or else they will leave. So she did, fearing that otherwise, she will lose their friendship. She took her head up after a while, her friends were gone, she felt deceived, low and lonely. And that girl was me. These were just childish plays and pranks but all these incidents have put a deep impression on my mind. Till date, I am scared to pick my head up to see all my family and friends gone. While writing this blog I am trying to relive my life and look at every nook and corner to see why I have such breathless trepidations.

to be continued…

Quarantine’s Food !! Bati veggie!!

Cooking, DIYs

The word “Quarantine” has gained its popularity at the onset of 2020. We hear a lot about post-traumatic stress symptoms, like avoidance, anger and boredom. Having inadequate basic supplies (eg, food, water, clothes, or accommodation) leads to frustrations and anxiety for four to six months after release. Just for days of isolation and we are talking so much about the mental health of a person. Think about those times when a child who barely reached her puberty experiences the widowhood. They were neglected and almost quarantined section of the quondam Bengali society. Hair chopped off, body covered with white drapes rest of her life, no jewellery and on top it all, restrictions on food. They were proscribed from having non-vegetarian along with a wide range of vegetarian ingredients including masoor dal, spinach, onions, garlic and garam masala.

The hunger, the monotonicity of the meagre ingredients that the widows were given and The innate creative nature of a woman forced them to overcome the culinary limitations and unknowingly contribute to what is now a rich Bengali vegetarian cuisine is an art of its own. These unsung architects constructed a gamut of possibilities within their periphery of loss.

Vegetable peels, lentils, jackfruit, gourd, pumpkin things so Spartan can actually be made to taste good? 

Today’s Recipe is one with such influence of those of the widow’s kitchen. Charchari is an open-ended Bengali vegetarian dish that can be cooked like two-minute noodles. Just throw-in every titbit vegetables together in a pan,(We use kadahi), with minimal or no addition of water with or without Panch phoron(Bengali five-spice mix) along with some dried red chillies for tempering and some mustard paste. Bati Chodchoris (Chochhori cooked in a bowl) Another school of thought says that the name Bati Chorchori comes from the fact that the raw vegetables can be mixed with all other ingredients and raw mustard oil and then this mixture (kept in a big bowl or bati) is slow-cooked with lid covered.

So today’s recipe is one such quarantine’s food, Bati chodchodi. 

Aloo Bati Chodchodi( Potato casserole):


  1. Diced potatoes 2cups
  2. Diced tomatoes 3/4 cup
  3. Chopped green chillies 1tea spoon
  4. Turmeric 3/4th teaspoon
  5. Red chilli powder 1/4th teaspoon
  6. Salt to taste
  7. Mustard oil 4/5 teaspoon
  8. water 200ml


Take a pot/pan, pour the diced potato, tomato, green chillies, salt, turmeric, red chilli powder. Add approximately 150ml water and put it on heat. Wait till potatoes are boiled. Add the rest of the water and cook till the gravy is semi-thick. Finally, add the mustard oil cook for another 2 mins and voila Bati chodchodi is ready to be served with hot roti, Paranthas or Bengali Luchi.

Brownie point: In this recipe, I have just used potatoes but you can add cauliflower, green peas and even Raw river fish like Rahu to turn it non-vegitarian.

My Moussaka!! Aubergine Casserole!


Fusion food is nothing new to the human race. The exchange of recipes with the addition of new ingredients as per taste and availabilities was the way of life due to migrations and invasions. Moussaka, that is so popular as a greek food, might not be so Greek. Presumably, it was the Arabs who introduced the eggplant to the world and along with that came the dish Moussaka.

Though the Greek Moussaka might be more famous, apparently it is originated in Turkey. During Ottoman times, the dish spread far and wide and developed into fairly distinct varieties across the Middle East, Greece and the Balkans considered it to be a favourite dish. The moussaka might be derived from the Arabic word Musakhkan. A 13th-century Arabic cookbook ” Baghdad Cookery Book” has a recipe which could be a predecessor of Moussaka.

Most of the versions are based primarily on sautéed aubergine and tomato, with minced meat. In the Levant, they used tomatoes and eggplant very similar to Sicilian caponata. The Egyptian version was made with layers of fried eggplant doused in tomato sauce with a layer of seasoned cooked ground beef added between the eggplant before it is baked.

On the other hand, the Turkish Moussaka is not layered. Instead, thinly sliced eggplant is fried and served in tomato-based meat sauce seasoned with green peppers, garlic and onions. It is generally eaten with pilav and cacik. There are also variants with zucchini (kabak musakka), carrots (havuç musakka) and potatoes (patates musakka).

In Albania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Romania, potatoes or cabbages were used instead of eggplant and the top layer is usually milk or yoghurt mixed with raw eggs. Sometimes bread crumbs were used with slices of tomatoes and crushed cheese as a topping.

The modern Greek version of Moussaka was created by one of the most influential French-trained Greek chefs of 1920s, Nikolaos Tselementes. He gave moussaka its popularity adding French béchamel sauce to it. This is the version that the Greeks know and love.

Moussaka is quite similar to lasagna, except the noodles is replaced by Aubergine, has spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. Though my version won’t have these spices and is a fusion of Swedish “Hasselback” combining with Turkish and Greek-style Moussaka, with mainly a touch of Me in it.

The recipe:


  1. Medium potatoes – 6
  2. Medium Eggplant – 1
  3. Medium onion – 2
  4. Few pieces of Garlic
  5. Green bell pepper – 1
  6. Few green chillies
  7. Medium Tomatoes – 7
  8. Milk – 1 cup
  9. Butter – 1 teaspoon
  10. Chicken Salami – 7/8 pieces
  11. Mozerella Cheese – 1 Cup
  12. Olive/ any White Oil – 1 teaspoon


  1. Salt to taste
  2. Cumin powder – 1 teaspoon
  3. Red chilli powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  4. Oregano – 2 teaspoon
  5. Basil (I used some fresh ones)
  6. Black pepper – 1/2 teaspoon
  7. Sugar – 1/2 teaspoon


1. Boil and mash the potatoes,

2. Add salt, milk, butter and the black pepper, mix them well and keep them aside.

3. Cut the eggplant in two halves, slice each half in a way that you can stuff the chicken salamis in it.

4, Slice rest two tomatoes in rounds.

5. Now in between every slice of the eggplant insert a slice of tomato and chicken salami.


  1. Puree the blanched tomatoes, add oil in the pan let it heat.
  2. Add the onion and the garlic, saute’ till they are light brown,
  3. Add the bell pepper fry for some more time.
  4. Now add chilli powder, basil, oregano, cumin, salt and sugar. Toss them for some more time before adding the tomato Puree’.
  5. Cook till it becomes a little thick.

Assembling all together:

Pour the mashed potato in an ovenproof bowl. Submerge the stuffed eggplant in the mashed Potato. sprinkle little more salt and pour the sauce over it. Cover it with cheese and sprinkle little more oregano and bake in a preheated oven for a half-hour in 160-degree temperature.

Brownie point: If you want your Aubergine to be so more smooth, then you can grill the eggplant boat for 10 before assembling all together. Also, people who are vegetarian can use cottage cheese(Paneer) or mushrooms instead of salami or minced meat.

Perfectionist with varied interest!!

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

So where was I, yes, a perfectionist, well that was one of the vices that I had, in fact still have. Perfection to the level of obsession. The taller glasses have to be at the back of the smaller ones, spice containers have to be in the proper order, handwash has to be on the right side of the basin, unknowingly my hands would juggle if I find them displaced. Now that I am 50 plus, I feel it’s a stressful vice, but too late to change. Impatience, creativity and perfection are a weird combination one can have. Impatience wouldn’t let me stick to one thing for long, being creative, I need to vent my energies more often, else I would make people around me miserable. This is the time being a perfectionist comes as a saviour. 

I pick up on one interest, work on it till I feel I have reached to perfection, then move on to the next. The good part is, I never move on because I am bored. I move on because for that point of time I feel I have learnt enough and I am open to coming back whenever I please to. 

Limitations are like shackles to me. Rules offend me. So, from dance to cooking, from cooking to journalism, from journalism to film-making, then back to cooking, then back to dance, and then to a new venture altogether. Cosmetic making! This makes life so interesting. There are new challenges and surprises at every turn, personal limitations to be crossed every moment. Acquiring diverse knowledge of various disciplines makes me understand the magnanimity of life. Continuously widening the spectrum of my brain capacity. With every new interest brings out a new me. It is something like, a new “life and death cycle” each time, with every change of interest.

Crimson Stew with Chicken and Roots


From the late 18th century, as British raj expanded in Bengal, a transformation of cuisine began, which reached its height by 20th century. Though Portuguese, were the first to bring few new vegetables and foods but they were not so popular until the Britisher took over Bengal completely and promoted them.

My today’s recipe is “Crimson stew with chicken and roots”. It was generally made in my Didima’s (maternal grandmom) kitchen. Though it has a western influence yet for some flavours the credit goes totally to my Grandma Kanika Bose.

Most of the vegetables in this stew were foreign to India. Each invasion has brought something new to this country, therefore there cuisines were modified. Before starting the recipe, I thought it would be interesting to know the origin of the vegetables I will be using and how my grandma Indianised it.

Potatoes that I love so much was presented to Sir Warren Hastings in 1780, at Calcutta. Around the same time, the Tomatoes aka bilayati begoon and green chillies or as Bengalis would call it ‘lonka”, came from England. Whereas cabbage was brought to India by traders from Portugal somewhere between a 14th and 17th century.

The wild carrots grew mainly in Persia and the Mediterranean regions, somewhere around the tenth or eleventh century. Cultivation of carrot in India might have started not before twelve or thirteen Century. In Persian, a carrot was called gazar, in Hindi, we call it ‘gajjar’.

Talking about beetroot, they are said to have grown in the hanging garden of Babylon. The first record of cultivation of the root part of the beet for consumption was either in Germany or Italy around 1542.

So, along with these foreign ingredients and adaptation of local ones, with the skilled hands of local cooks, resulted in a whole new Cuisine, now inseparable from the Bengalis.

Why am I just talking about carrot, potato and beetroot? Well, they are the main ingredient that my Grandma used in the recipe I am sharing today with a dash of ginger paste.

So without much ado, let’s start with today’s recipe.



2. Potato: 1/2 cup diced

3. Carrot: 1 cup diced

4.Beetroot: 1/2 cup diced

5. Tomato: 1/2 cup diced

6. Onion: 1 cup diced

7. Green chilly: 2/3

8.Ginger paste: 1 teaspoon

9. Butter: 1 teaspoon

10. Salt according to taste

11. Sugar: 1 teaspoon

12. Water: 750 ml


1.Black pepper powder: 1/4th teaspoon

2.Cumin Powder: 1 and 1/2 teaspoon

Whole spices for Tempering:

1.Cloves: 4/5 pieces

2. Cardamom: 2 pieces

3. Cinnamon: 2 sticks, 1 inch each

4. Bay leaf: 1 piece

5. Black peppercorns: 10 balls


  1. Pour butter in a pan, wait till it is hot
  2. Add the whole spices for tempering
  3. Add Onion and stir for 5 minutes
  4. add the vegetables one by one and keep stirring for little brown.
  5. Add the chicken and keep stirring till the chicken changes its colour
  6. add salt, sugar, black pepper powder and cumin powder.
  7. stir properly so that the spices cover the vegetable and the chicken
  8. Add some water, stir, cover the pot and let it boil till vegetables and chicken is cooked properly.
  9. when vegetables and chicken are thoroughly cooked, add little more butter for flavour and your Bloody stew with chicken and roots is ready to be served with Bread toast. I even have it with rice.

You can also add French beans, peas, celery and broccoli as per your choice. I prefer to stay with the roots only. British stew has ginger, garlic, rosemary and thyme but my Grandma used only ginger and cumin powder with tempered whole spices aka Bengali “Gorom moshla”.

Watch the complete recipe here:

I hated the woman I loved the most.


She passed over her genes to me, my Mom!

Since my childhood I grew up with a strict mom, who always kept the house nick pick, the refrigerator filled with delicacies, attending her dance classes, going for her theatre rehearsals, voraciously reading, travelling a lot to do her shows, without neglecting any of her duty as a home-maker.

I remember she used to do her ‘Riaz'(dance practice) for about three to four hours per day but that didn’t let her miss out on any of my growing up activities or my observing on my mischiefs. She was always watching. How could she see? Did she have a pair of eyeballs at the back of her head too??? Being a mischievous child, it was my common query.

I hated it when she used to drag me for my dance classes just when I so wanted my afternoon nap. How can anybody be so cruel, that too a mother!! I always hated taking part in any kind of competition but no she has to take me there. Be it dance, recitation, sport, drawing or essay writing. As a child, I hardly had any options but to abide by her rules. Even though I won many of those competitions, yet those momentary joys were nothing in comparison to the anxiety of participation.

By the time I was a twelve, first, she started training me to organise my belongings, then without my knowledge, I was organizing the living room and the shelves. Slowly things were getting difficult, now came in the manifolds of folding clothes. During the summer vacations, every evening she would nag, “Fold the clothes and water the plants before you leave to play badminton”. I was assigned to fold all the dried clothes and keep them methodically on the “Anla”, a wooden hanger which existed in every Bengali household.

Phew! Life was getting tougher. By fourteen I started behaving like a perfect teenage, I learned to grunt. Complaining, now verbally, ‘Jivan can do it’. JIvan was our house help(Oh yes, I forgot to mention we always had a live-in helper). She would just throw cold look, which was enough to send the chills through my spine, then she would say ” Je randhe se ki chool bandhe na”(a person who is always working, doesn’t she get time to tie her hair). Meaning, take out time for everything that you want or need to do. “sob obheysh korbe. Mohole ranir moto, kude ghore kudeghorer moto”( Get habituated with everything, live like a queen in a palace and a pauper in a humble dwelling.)

We have heard phrases like, “be perfect in whatever you do” but her favourite phrase was, “do everything perfectly”. They say a character is built by the age of fourteen. So before I realised what I wanted, I turned out to be a perfectionist.

My previous blog: