Showing posts from June, 2014

My Sunday Lunch...

Weekends are long awaited in our household. They are isles of freedom, the hours precious to the second. Every Monday as I sit down on my office chair my eyes inadvertently goes to the calendar on my desk where a rabbit family is prancing about in a meadow, and my mind races to the letters in red. The double ‘S’ – Saturday and Sunday.  A time to unwind, sleep late, watch movies, go birding. And food, glorious food.

On weekend mornings, as we sit down leisurely to a breakfast of fluffy hot rotis and runny potato curry cooked by my father-in-law (yes, you heard it right), our talk turns to lunch and dinner menus for the day. The little brat loves fish and we love meat. So we decide to have both. Vegetables have had their fair share during the past five days, so it is their turn to sleep off the weekend – off our menus.

I love cooking for the family but the weekdays usually see me cutting corners and resorting to several short-cuts. Weekends are when I turn my kitchen into an adventure z…

On an Omani food trail...

“Why do you keep watching all these food shows?” asked the husband, a frown on his face. “The channel is about travelling. Why don’t you concentrate on that?”

I sighed.

“Because I love knowing about a region’s food culture, its cuisines and the history behind that,” I tried to explain. “Food plays an important role in discovering the different facets of a place, you know.”

I wonder if he was convinced by my rather prosaic reply. But that is how I gauge a region – by its food. One who knows how to appease a guest with good food will always be a good host. My belief, of course. And I am talking about a nation here. 

Oman, going by what I have been reading, seems to be a perfect host. It is said that in Oman they believe in eating to live rather than living to eat, which is somewhat my philosophy as well. The country offers an interesting blend of Arabian and Indian influences, with local caf├ęs mostly serving shwarmas, biryanis and other Middle Eastern mezze and grills.

Image source: www.…

Mutton/Goat Meat Masala or Spiced Goat Meat

I have been ignoring my kitchen travails for quite some time now. Blame it on my sheer laziness - there is just no other excuse. But actually, I have been trying out a variety of dishes post my Kolkata trip in an attempt to replicate some of them. Most of the time I end up with diametrically different results!

However, the recipe today that I wanted to share is something that I grew up relishing in my mother’s kitchen. I shamelessly tweaked it but no harm was done, I think.

We used to look forward to guests visiting us in our Manas home. Especially if they had kids our age! While my father took out some time from his hectic schedule to arrange picnics for them by the river side or take them for rides in the jungle, Ma busied herself in the kitchen. She would discuss the menu to be served with our kitchen help Ranjan and picked out the choicest of vegetables from our backyard. Someone would be sent to the market to get fresh fish and meat. Ranjan would then chop and pound the onion, gi…

Adventure on the dead river

Summer holidays had just started when our cousins decided to pay us a visit. Our wooden bungalow in Manas Wildlife Sanctuary rang with joyous laughter. Footsteps clattered up and down the staircase while whiffs of delicious food wafted in from the kitchen below. There was festivity in the jungle air.

Monsoons seemed to be around the corner with little puffs of dark cloud collecting on the horizon, only to be dispersed sometime later. The time had not arrived yet, opined the rain gods. 

“Which means, we still have time to take you guys out for a picnic in the jungle,” concluded Deta (my dad), leading to a raucous reception and much dancing around in merriment.

And so, one glorious summer morning, we found ourselves seated in a jeep, keen smiles plastered onto our faces. 

“We are going to Daimary,” Deta announced. Daimary was one of the several areas within Manas which had a ‘beat office’. A thin blue river with sparkling white stones ran besides the settlement. 

An adventure was about …