While we the people in Bengal are getting ready to the next assembly polls soon here. Politics and election is the buzz word here for the time being.Second on the list is Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL matches.
We are now in the midst of Kaal Bouishaki as I am typing this post.And if you have read this old post , then perhaps you would be interested to know that there are many stake holders still. We finally managed to get one kancha Aam thanks to a driver who works for someone else (read Mrs. A) but likes to do these small chores for us. People are just running here and there with old jute bags to collect Kancha Aam falling under this mango tree like “Indro Debotar vardaan”.As if everybody is a budding cricketer eyeing to catch the ball err the mango to secure a place in some cricket playing team for which they wish to play. Our housing complex is soon going to host it’s own league matches quite similar to the T-20 format .Well Hubby dear seems to be interested, lets see how many turn out on the D-day.
The other day while coming back to home I was struck in traffic due to the “michil” blocking the road to promote their party worker probably who is contesting as an election candidate for the first time. Things which were part of quintessential Bengal politics still remains the same, no matter who is leading or lagging behind.
I was traveling in a shared auto and the auto driver reluctantly asked white-clad Sergeant if he can cut pass through the “michil”, a firm negative reply and stern look, do you need any more?? And then I had one of the most adventurous and breath taking auto no bumpy ride ever. My kidney jumping in place of my heart and my heart most probably in my gullet if not in mouth. After stopping I pinched myself to see if I am still alive. Well yeah otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this post. Right?
( One of the many unknown By-Lanes in night )
Kolkata has many narrow lanes and by lanes which runs almost interconnecting two main roads. These interconnections are like spiders web so much entangled and criss-crossed if you know your way out well then it’s your good luck and you will hit the main road otherwise you will be left rotating in a never ending loop. What makes these by-lanes even more fascinating is the activity that goes with it.Nitai kaku reading Khabore’r kagoj while sipping his cup of “Cha “ with thin arrow root’er biscuit and Kakima feeding left-over rotis to Bholai.Well Bholai is a mere “feti Kokor” and in case if you are interested to know more about him,then you should befriend Kakimaa first.
And then there will be our own Runa Didi holding his 12 year old son Ronny’s hand , giving him continuous instructions what he should or shouldn’t be doing in school. She would be seen often buying some fresh ras bhora langcha from Babul Da’s Sweets shop.She will then make promises for great rewards after school if he can score at least 90 in “Onkko” if not 120 out of 100.As far as his son is concerned, he has his own brain but is dysfunctional for the time being. Wait some more years down the line and he will be seen having a gala time in a multiplex with his school friends dumping his school classes for a recent Hindi flick , a much better way to
( Traffic on main road.The boy in picture came to us,asking to give him parking fee for our car, which we did give him and he was happy posing for us.)
And then there will be our Jhonto da, with one hand working to fix his correcting glasses and the other balancing the handle of his bicycle. You can figure out well he is trying to juggle both –Love and life. He will try to cut and pass through the auto to catch up with Bela didi who is now getting late to catch the next bus which will be dropping her near her college. Well and then there will be Ganesh’er “Modi Khana” or grocery shop where you can see heaps of different varieties of rice and lentils being put on sale in huge jute bags.Ganesh will be seen sometimes scratching his bulging tummy ,slightly lifting his “genji” perhaps due to the sweat which gets accumulated in this hot and humid weather. There is a pedestal fan which is of no use but is there as he got that old pedestal fan as a gift from his in-laws. Some men are really gentlemen or perhaps they are tailored.
Well these are few real life characters; Malgudi Days still is kept alive in these lanes and by lanes of Kolkata. May God bless them all for providing me so much to write about them.I will try to update more in coming post about them.
Now to the recipe part which I almost forgot.Choto Aloo or puti aloo or baby potatoes when made into thick gravy, they give a nice texture and flavour.A Bengali Aloor Dom when made with these baby potatoes adds a different touch to this traditional recipe. When accompanied with freshly deep fried luchi this traditional recipe is a crowd pleaser.
Choto Aloor dom
Baby potatoes-about 15-18
Onions-2 medium size
Garlic-3-4 fat cloves
3 tbs of cooking oil
1 tsp of turmeric powder
2 tsp of red pepper powder
1 tsp of cumin powder
2 tsp of coriander powder
Gota garam moshla/whole garam masala-
2 -4 cloves
Half inch cinnamon stick
3 green chillies
1 medium size tomato
Salt and sugar as per taste
- Wash the baby potatoes well in water to get rid of dirt and mud.
- Now heat up a saucepan/kadai.
- Add cooking oil preferably mustard oil. Add gota garam moshla/whole garam masala like-clove, cardamom, cinnamon etc.
- Fry the baby potatoes very well. Take out in a separate bowl.
- Add ginger, garlic and onion, fry very well. If you wish you may use the onion/ginger/garlic paste.Add green chillies.
- Now add the dry seasoning-turmeric powder, red pepper powder, cumin and coriander powder, salt and sugar. Add a bit of water also.
- Fry very well with baby potatoes the above masala.
- Add chopped tomato.
- Now add about 1 cup of warm water. Cover it and let it cook slowly for about 10-15 mints or till the potatoes are done. Serve with chopped coriander leaves optional.
Happy Cooking Friends