Thursday, October 28, 2010

Event Announcement - Of Chalks and Chopsticks-6th Edition

When Aqua asked me to host Chalks and Chopsticks -6, I was delighted as this food -event is very close to my heart.Thanks Aqua, it's really a privilege for me to host this lovely food-event at Spice and Curry.
So, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I am pleased to announce that Chalks and Chopsticks -6th edition will be hosted here on Spice and Curry for the month of November.
Now regulars know it very well about the rules and regulations, but let me again write it down for those who have just joined us or wish to join in.

So, let me re-iterate Aqua’s rule here

1. Write up a story/fiction based on food. Story can be based on real incident or completely fabricated /imaginary/fiction. Food Story can be based on any genre- humour, romance, mystery or thriller or even paranormal facts.

2. The story you write should be original  and related to the food you will be cooking for that post.

3. There is no word limit for the story, but it should be finished in one post.

4. Archived post are welcome, provided you link back the Aqua's Announcement post --http://servedwithlove.blogspot.com/2010/04/of-chalks-and-chopsticks.html  and This announcement post -http://spiceandcurry.blogspot.com/2010/10/event-announcement-of-chalks-and.html and re-publish it . 
But I would love to see you write fresh post for this event.

5. Post written for this event can be shared with any other food-event.

6. Link back this announcement-(http://spiceandcurry.blogspot.com/2010/10/event-announcement-of-chalks-and.html and also to the Announcement post by Aqua.

Now the ball is in your court, write your fabulous story and cook delicious food, post it and send me your entry by November 30, 2010.       Amend it to new deadline that is 20th of Dec 2010.

To send in your entry

You can leave a comment on this post with the URL of the related post from your blog/website, and specifying the recipe name.

Or you may use the contact me form with the subject line -Chalks and Chopsticks-6th Edition .If I fail to respond to your submission within 3-4 working days, do remind me again. Hopefully you don’t have to.

Alright then, looking forward to your lovely entries and making it a grand success.And come-on it's festive season isn't, cook delicious food and participate in.You can send me more than one entry, if you wish to.

Meanwhile if you need some ideas, then here is the list-

  1.Chalks and Chopsticks-5 th Edition  hosted at Seduce your taste-buds (PJ)
2.Chalks and Chopsticks-Edition-4th hosted at Desi Soccer mom (Jaya Wagle)
3. Chalks and chopsticks-Edition-3rd hosted at When my Soup Came Alive. (Sra)
4.Chalks and Chopsticks-2nd edition hosted at BongMom's Cookbook.(Sandeepa)
5.Chalks and Chopsticks-1st edition  hosted at Served With Love.(Aqua) .

So, what are you waiting for,  join in and enjoy this festive season with Chalks and Chopsticks-6th edition.

Deadline is being extended to 20th of Dec 2010.And if you wish you may add this logo also.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Shobho Bijoya with Darbesh

During one of my pre-teens Durga puja days, may be on nabami if I am not wrong. I remember having darbesh as sweets/mishti.Darbesh, a more evolved form of boondi ladoos, was being distributed as part of goodie packets for kids and elders as well. Those goodie packets ,which included narkel nadu-Recipe Here , darbesh and some cut slices of fruits and dry fruits, were prepared by Barwari ‘s ( community where local Durga Puja is conducted) leading ladies, specially for kids.But it’s a different story elders were also used to line up to have their share of that goodie packets.
This was way long back and I forgot literally about that until this time. I saw this dry boondi packet in an Asian grocery shop , where I do my grocery shopping once in a while. Now, when I bought that packet, boondi raita was on my mind. I never thought I would perhaps try making a famous sweet from that packet.
I must tell you , my mother still makes boondi from scratch from besan and with jhanjhri- a special type of perforated spatula/ladle used specially for making boondi.Last time when I went back home, even I tried making some boondi from scratch, not as perfect as my mothers but not that bad either.
Now, all that I remembered about darbesh that it’s made up with boonden in Bengali /boondi in Hindi , loads of dried fruits specially cashews/kaju and some khoya.I searched the recipe over the net but cant find any adequate results. So, this is just my first try in making them. DH told me that they turn out quite delicious. Now, it’s your turn to try it out this simple, easy breezy recipe for a sweet, and let me know how it turns out for you.

Below is our Shashti’r niramish meal- luchi , aloor torkari, darbesh and besan ladoos.

Usually sweet boonden/boondi is prepared in sugar syrup and that too from scartch i.e. from besan batter, and then rolled in as ladoos with khoya in Hindi /kheer in Bengali and cashews or may be sometime with kish-mish/raisins.

Here is recipe for darbesh/darvesh (measurements are approximate, as I usually don’t measure it out while making sweets)


About half a packet of ready-made instant/dry boondi
1 cup of sugar
½ cup of water

For the instant khoya in microwave

Mix in about 1 cup of whole milk powder
About half a can of condensed milk
Microwave at high for 2-3 mints to get a dry crumbly mixture of the above two.
Alternately mix in a pan over stove-top/hob for a dry crumbly mixture.This may take little more time than M/W.

Crush about 1 cup of cashews either in your mixer or with rolling pin
Melt in about 2-3 tbs of butter in a microwave safe bowl .Reserve it for preparing boondi.
Make thick sugar syrup with 1 -1 1/2 cup of sugar and about quarter to half a cup of water. Slowly start mixing this well over stove-top at medium flame. Usually with powdered sugar it takes very less time. I would suggest powdering the sugar in mixer if you are living in India. And here in foreign we do usually get powdered sugar easily.
Add the melted butter to the prepared sugar syrup.
Now slowly start adding about 2-3 tbs of instant boondi and keep mixing it well.
Take off from the flame.
Use up rest of the boondi and keep stirring in the sugar syrup. Cover it and then keep it covered for 5-7mints.
 If you wish you may use some colours as well to highlight darbesh, like yellow or red colour.Dissolve the colour and mix in with some of the prepared boondis , in a separate bowl.And at the time of making ladoos, just mix all the coloured Boondis.

Make sure to stir and mix in between. This will prevent the soggy boondi.
Now crush up about 1 cup of cashews.You may add some crushed cardamom also for a nice aroma.

In a big mixing bowl, or salad bowl. Mix the prepared boondi, instant khoya and cashews, if you wish you may add raisins or sultanas also. Dust some more milk powder approx- 2-3 tbs , so that the boondi mixture can hold itself well.
Clean your hand well and start making ladoos.This much of ingredients will make approx 20-22 ladoos.Ok, add two more, as I tasted some ladoo mixture, as I was making/molding ladoos (yeah, I know sometimes I am little impatient)
Store them refrigerated in an air tight container. Stays fresh for 1 week.

Picture Below is of Ealing Durga Puja in London.

Shobho Vijayadashmi everybody.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Kaleidoscopic Memories From Past

I really appreciate everyone who has supported me and to everybody out there who are still struggling with their contents being copied. I wish people become little more sensible and responsible with the knowledge and power they have in their hands. Special thanks to Seema, Lonesome Duck and Sharmila , if you all are reading this, you truly deserve mention here for supporting me where and when it was required the most, putting your words/comments at the plagiarized site.

Here’s wishing for a bright new sun and it’s a new day for me and a new beginning hopefully. I may still have my inhibitions, but when I look back, blogging has given me some creative satisfaction and a way to unwind myself and top it with you lovely people who check my feeds. Hopefully, this phase will bring good charm and positive feedbacks from you readers, although I have embraced your negative feedbacks as well in past also. So, towards a new bright horizon, my journey continues.

Picture is of Sovabazar Raj Bari Puja which was captured in year 2008 by DH.

This is that time of the year when everything seems so nostalgic. Autumn and Sharad means  “Sharodoutsab” for every Bengali .Yesterday was Mahalaya.So, the reverse countdown has started.

When asked to narrate about Pujo nostalgia, every Bengali would go on. And I am no exception. A very touchy topic and so many memories are associated with it. To live the memories of those golden four days, I close my eyes and rewind to those lovely days. I see a girl, at the doorstep of adulthood, giggling with her friends. And seeing herself draped in a beautiful yellow colour tant’er saree quite amused by her this new image. She often starts imagining is it me or somebody else.

She tries to capture what happened on Shashti “the Bodhon day”. She remembers wearing new clothes crisp and pristine, a new pair of white high heeled sandals from Bata. And recalls that in the morning, her mother and all her Jethimaa and kakimaas observing “Shashti pujo” under Bel Tree. She then visualizes breaking of the fast and offering each other “phol prasad” amidst laughter and teasing.In the afternoon she remembers her mother making narkol diye Cholar Dal, luchi and Begun Bhaja, a Niramish meal for Shashti.

And on Saptami she starts visualizing old “Purot moshayi” placing “Kola Bou” on Puju mandap’e amidst Pujo Mandap gossip. She recalls how she hurriedly finished her lunch of Phulkopi Diye Mong’er dal, Chorchori and Payesh, to meet up with her friends for the dance and "Natok/Jatra" rehearsals. The rehearsals were meant for Barwari Cultural programme which would be staged everyday from Shashti till Nabami.The funny part of saptami’s Jatra, she remembered her Jhonto Da’s false moustache coming out while portraying a role of a rich Jamindaar and seeing this entire audience breaking into laughter.

And then in the evening “Sandhi Pujo” surrounding with the magical sounds of Dhaks and Dhakis roaring to the beat of Dhak.Then getting on with her friends together for a quick session of Puchka outside Pujo Mandap. And then realizing that your first crush has just come up with his gang of friends and is awed at looking at you with that pretty saree.She visualized looking little embarrassed, with mouth full of Puchka.A sudden urge to smile and then playing Hide and seek. They almost were bumping with each other while having puchka, she and her friends’ then move towards the Pujo Mandap to watch “Dhanuchi Dance”. All her friends eagerly waiting for their turns and asking her to hold their luxurious purses not designed by Gucci or Armani but ten days ago, bought in a good bargain from New Market. As for she, she is happy to cheer them up with whole lot of noises and applauses.

On Asthami, after Pushpanjali, she realizes that it’s time for some Pujo Pandal Hopping. She asks her Nirmal Kaku for car keys. Sensing trouble her Nirmal Kaku asks her to hire a taxi and go with friends and come back within a time frame of 2 hours. She and her friends came back from pandal hopping, all tired and exhausted. And then the ultimate bliss in the world. With her family and friends amidst laughter, teasing and fun, they would sit in queue on floor and have Ashtami Bhog’er Khichuri.On “Shal Patar Thala” they would be served Khichuri, labra and Chutney and jol in matir kulhar by her Parar Kaku and Jethu and all the Dadas.In the evening while lighting 108 diyas, her mother and kakimaa would sometimes ask them to help.

On Nabami, some more pujo pandal hopping with family. They would then stop for sometime at the near by Barwari who are competing with their own Barwari for best “Pujo Pandal” and “Protima” competition organized by the Bengali association of the city. She realized that the “Hom jagyo” on nabami has just finished in that barwari..And “Purot moshayi” is putting Hom ‘er tilak on everybody’s forehead. She and her family is blessed by Porot moshayi with hom’er tilak.She visualizes herself sitting with her family and being served Rui Mach’er Jhaal,ilish mach and bandhakopir chorchori and Vegetable pulao and Mishti Doi by her mother and Choto Kakimaa.

In the evening, sandhi pujor aroti amidst sounds of dhak and divine smell of dhuno, a mesmerizing effect produced by the sight of “May’er aproop shondoryo” (beauty of Goddess) and Smell of dhuno.
This is the last day of the extravaganza. And on Vijayadashmi she remembers her mother, Jethimaas and kakimaas playing with Sindoor, smearing each other with sindoor on cheeks and forehead amidst laughter and fun. They would then seek blessings from elders; in return elders would offer them some Sandesh or Kalakand.
And then with tearful eyes and somber heart bidding farewell to eternal "Anandomoyi, Karunamoyi"... ”Maa ashche Bochor abaar esho”…..

On the day of Vijayadashmi she remembers her mother and her kakimaa, would make mangsho and Chingri mach’er pulao for lunch.In the evening , her mother and her kakimaas would make mangsho diye ghughni , vegetable chop and nimki in bulk as hers was a joint family with even distant relatives and “Ashritos”.They all would be going to other relatives and friends home for Shobho Vijayadashmi.They would continue to visit each other till it’s time for Kojagori Lakshmi Pujo.

Vivid memories are coming alive and suddenly she realizes that she is far far away from the warmth of that familiarity. In a foreign land amidst coldness, she hears echoes of her friend’s giggle, hustle-bustle of a laid back city, dhak’er sound and some familiar noises at the Pujo mandap.And she visualizes having lots of fun while Dhanuchi dance and tearful sobbing at the time of "Bishorjan"-“Bolo Durga Mayi Ki jai”…………..

All memories keep coming to her mind like kaleidoscopic memories, dancing to create vivid patterns that are inter-connected. Patterns that life journey so far, bestowed upon her.

( Above mentioned facts and incidents are partially fabricated .This post is going to PJ , who is hosting 5th edition of Chalks and Chopsticks.Details can be found Here .The event was conceptualized by Aqua .

And also to Pree who is hosting her first event-Beyond Five days of Durga Puja .Visit here  for more details.)

Recipes mentioned in this post are-

Luchi Cholar Dal and Begun Bhaja

Lao Shak'er Chorchori
Pineapple'er Chutney



Rui Mach'er Jhaal Koraishuti diye

Ilish Bandhakopi

Vegetable pulao

Mishti Doi

 Mutton Curry 

Mangsho Diye Ghughni

Chingri Mach'er Pulao



Vegetable Cutlet


Sharodiya Shubhecha O Priti