Monday, January 30, 2012

Prepare bengali fish curry in just a few steps

Bengali fish curry is distinctively delicious and an awe to many. It has typical bengali spices that are different from northern or southern Indian cuisines. The lovely aroma of the spices and the ingredients make bengali fish curry very special indeed.

The easiest way to start off with bengali fish curry is to get a few common ingredients in your kitchen. This includes:

Freshly done onion, garlic, ginger paste
Coriander, cumin, turmeric and red chili powder
Whole cumin seeds and garam masala dust
Freshly chopped parsley/ coriander leaves, green chilies
Oil, preferably mustard oil

These are the very basic ingredients rich in authentic bengali flavor and are of immense health benefits.

Clean and cut the fish (rohu, katla, boyal, tangra, pabda etc.)under running water. Season the fish with turmeric powder and salt and set aside. Fry the fish in mustard oil, keep aside. Add 1 tsp of cumin seeds for 1/2 sec and allow it to exude flavor. Quickly add the onion, garlic and ginger paste, red chili powder, turmeric powder, little sugar and salt. Keep stirring till the blend starts to give out the oil. Sugar is for caramilization and color. Add the fish and add little water. Sprinkle 1 tsp of garam masala powder. Cook for 5-8 minutes and remove from the flame. Add fresh coriander leaves and green chilies for flavor and cover the lid again to retain the flavor.

Serve with steamed rice and fresh lime cuts and lots of love. Eat it slowly, appreciate, relish the authentic flavors of the bengali fish curry and love it.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Less spicy, light mutton curry not just for sick times

Some days are just too drab and monotonous and some days are full of spices when you have had a lot of empty calories as in junk foods. You come back home - tired and not quite hungry yet want to eat something and not skip the dinner altogether. On such days settle for something like mutton stew - less spicy, with lot of broth and refreshing. Allow the meat to cook in whole onion, chopped garlic, ginger julienne, fresh pepper, red chili powder, little turmeric-coriander-cumin powder and garam masala powder. Add farm fresh potatoes nicely diced and salt, close the lid, put it on pressure and you are done with!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Anirudhha - much hyped, Srijit - smart and Rituparno Ghosh - class apart and above

It would be unfair to compare the likes of Rituparno Ghosh with the, so to speak, newcomers like Anirudhha Roy Chowdhury and Srijit Mukherjee of Bengali new wave cinema. Rituparno Ghosh with his inimitable sensitive genre and superlative techniques is 'the man' in Bengali and Indian film fraternity. If we compare the first few films of Rituparno Ghosh with those of the other two, I find significant differences. Rituparno is a class beyond, a class above and the last of the originals. He is an original story teller and a great social psychoanalyst who would never miss anything when it comes to human psyche.

Three film famous Anirudhha Roy Chowdhury is a copybook film maker who likes to go into elaborate detailing of things rather than the quintessential human thought patterns. Even the alignment of the curtains or books in a rack is taken care of with ad film making precision. The crisp and calculate shots go to show the genius of the Ad film maker, if not anything more. The cinematography is highly plausible and so is the film music. The three films have shown traces of good work, a sign of good film architect. However, in totality, with all those precision and eye for details his works failed me. Sometimes, chaos is more coveted than perfection. Little bit of imperfection is OK at times.

Srijit Mukherjee, young and dynamic, is a promising director. His films touch delicate nuances of the human psyche. Beautiful rendition of imagery reflects his smart education. I feel, he has more potential and just two film old Srijit certainly has a long way to go. Snippets of class fill his films and at the end of it you get to like his work. The method in madness style has seemed to work for him. Good ears for music, great sense of editing and the ability to learn from the surroundings have made his films substantially persistent.Rituparno Ghosh has a class hard to achieve. He is truly the last of the originals. An unbelievable story teller, Rituparno has redefined the method and madness in his own terms. He has been able to move his audience convincingly from frame to frame. We, Bengalees, not only love his way of dealing with the art of film making but also appreciate the exquisite candid terms by which he lives his life. He is truly a Renaissance man.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Reward yourself with good shoes

Show me your shoes and I will tell you who you are. Of late I have developed a strange love for shoes. Flip flops, tiptoes, platforms, not so highs - you just name it. I love to reward myself with good shoes. Trust me, it's not just a lavish but a utility you would love to pamper yourself with.

Having shopping for the right kind of shoes, (this keeps changing with seasons and mood), I have realized one thing. Shoes are damn pricy and the ones that keep your eye balls rolling will keep your wallet upside down as well.

The fact that I wear most of them, most of the times in the workplace and that they should be comfortable on feet, I keep a few things on mind while shopping for the ideal ones.

Comfortable on toes and heel

I am lucky that I do not suffer from any physical problem, like heel spur, bunions etc., but for those who do it's advisable to buy shoes with cushioned and roomy bed. Go for the ones that you are comfortable in considering your body weight, work status and nature of work.

Chic and trendy or timeless

I usually go for timeless shoes that do not expire with seasons' fashions. I like flip flops that are always in vogue. However, it's just fine to have a few party pairs like stilettos and high heels in your collection.


Good shoes are expensive but most are long lasting. I prefer shoes belonging to brands of repute. I use them everyday, all the time, everywhere. I get the best deal from the good brands at the end of the day.

Have less, wear more often and buy often

Shoes tend to lose the sheen and wearibility if kept unused for long. Keep alternating and keep wearing the pairs regularly. Ransack your shoe rack for the ones that are not worn for long. Try to match your dress with them and keep them rolling. After having lost a lot of money, I am wiser now. I have a few pairs of good stuffs now and keep them rolling all through the week. This gives me a chance to go on shopping spree more often as well.

Recycle your shoes

If you think that shoes cannot be recycled, think twice. I give up on my shoes not because they are not wearable any longer but because I don't like them anymore. I give them away to house helps or to the nearest shoe shops.

One last word, shoes make you look and feel beautiful. Reward yourself with them more often.

Picture credit: wedmd

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Paranthas serve hungry souls just right!

I was hungry. Really hungry. And all I could think of are the calorie guilt foods that would help me procrastinate even more on my endeavor to eat less and eat right. This time though I kept my foot down. No more cookies, chips and finger foods. I was craving for tasty and substantial food that would keep me going for a few more hours.

I found nicely kneaded whole wheat flour stored in an air tight container. May be my mom has her plans after she returns from her evening stroll. But I was hungry and the guessing game irritated me.

I made a few round balls out of the kneaded flour in a jiffy. Rolled them into thin triangular shapes with little refined oil on them, semi toasted them on the flat wok. Brushing with little oil each time I turned the sides, I made them golden brown, crispy and beautifully appealing. We have variety of pickles at home, courtesy my mom. It was just a matter of spooning them out on my plate of paranthas.

I ate them and I ate them all like a hungry, mad dog and awaited the shocking look on my mom's face when she returns. It's going to be great fun!