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bengali

Bengali Style Okra with Peanuts | Playful Cookinglink to Cheena Badam Bhendi (Bengali Style Okra with Peanuts)

Cheena Badam Bhendi (Bengali Style Okra with Peanuts)

Here is a fun fact. While badam in Hindi refers to only almond, Bengalis classify every variety of nuts as badam. Kaju Badam is cashew, Kaath Badam is almond, Cheena badam is peanut and hence the name of the dish. Cheena Badam Bhendi (Bengali Style Okra with Peanuts) is an easy to prepare side with very minimal ingredients and it tastes delicious.

Chicken Ghungni (Yellow Peas And Mined Chicken Stew) And Announcing the Cookbook Cover | Playful Cookinglink to Chicken Ghugni and Announcing the Cookbook Cover

Chicken Ghugni and Announcing the Cookbook Cover

After a month of back and forth, we finally have the name and the book cover! I am so happy to ultimately share it with you. Through the process of writing the book and photographing all the dishes, I don’t think I ever sat down to realize the scale of the achievement. Now, when I see the book cover again and again with the title, my name on it and those dishes that I cooked, it started to feel a lot real. Soon, I can call myself an author. Oh boy! To celebrate the moment, I wanted to make something…

Tetor Daal (Bitter Gourd Yellow Mung Stew) | Playful Cookinglink to Tetor Daal (Bitter Gourd Yellow Mung Stew)

Tetor Daal (Bitter Gourd Yellow Mung Stew)

Tetor Daal – daal, as we all know, is Indian lentil stew and teto refers to bitter gourd. This light lentil stew with a hint of bitter taste is a quintessential Bengali dish, most commonly prepared during summer months. Bitter gourd is known to cleanse your palate and soothe your tummy, which makes this stew ideal for a detox diet. Typically, bottle gourd is also cooked along with the lentil to make the stew more filling. Also, the sweet taste of bottle gourd balances the bitterness of the stew. But, I wanted to keep tetor daal light and so, I…

Chingri Malaicurry (Bengali Style Shrimp/Prawn Curry) | Playful Cookinglink to Chringri Malai Curry (Bengali Style Shrimp/Prawn Curry) and Announcing my Cookbook Deal!

Chringri Malai Curry (Bengali Style Shrimp/Prawn Curry) and Announcing my Cookbook Deal!

This year I spent more time in my tiny kitchen than in any other corner of our home. It was all about testing and retesting every single recipe. Followed by photographing and of course the writing. Wow, does it feel lovely to finally share this news with you guys. Yes, I am writing and photographing my first cookbook. You never think something like this will ever happen to you. Then it actually does. A dream that I had for a while now, is shaping up beautifully and becoming a reality. It just feels amazing.

Bengali Aloo Dum | Playful Cookinglink to Bengali Aloo Dum (Spiced Baby Potatoes)

Bengali Aloo Dum (Spiced Baby Potatoes)

Baby potatoes, boiled just until fork tender and then sautéed in spices until the sauce gets thick and coats all over.  Bengali Aloo Dum (Spiced Baby Potatoes) is a quintessential Bengali weekend breakfast, often paired with luchi (fried mini flat bread). This is a simple dum aloo recipe prepared with onion, garlic and lots of aromatic spices. This Bengali style dum aloo is a favourite in many household and often you can even find it as a Kolkata street food during morning hours to feed the hungry souls on the go.

Puti Maach Er Tok (Tangy Fish Stew) | Playful Cookinglink to Puti Maach Er Tok (Tangy Fish Stew)

Puti Maach Er Tok (Tangy Fish Stew)

Let me break down the name of the dish first. Puti is a kind of small freshwater fish, Maach means fish in Bengali and Tok means tangy. The selections of fish recipes that one can find in Bengali cuisine are countless. Some are spicy, some are mild, some are loaded with vegetables and others are not. There are also various fish curries/stews that goes with the season. This simple Puti Maach Er Tok (Tangy Fish Stew) is typically prepared in peak summer months. Kolkata summer is brutal and this tangy stew helps to cool down the body and keep the…

Kumro Palak (Acorn Squash And Spinach Stir Fry) | Playful Cooking #bengali #squash #spinach #indian #foodphotographylink to Kumro Palak (Acorn Squash And Spinach Stir Fry)

Kumro Palak (Acorn Squash And Spinach Stir Fry)

As a kid, I was not much of an eater. Ma still tells me tales of how she struggled to put any food in my mouth. In addition to that, I was an extremely slow eater. In the hopes of making me eat faster, Ma eventually made this rule that the last one to finish the meal would clean the table. But, nothing changed! There were, however, a few such dishes that I used to eat without any fuss and on those days, I was the first to finish the meal.

Nolen Gur Rasgulla | Playful Cookinglink to Nolen Gur Rasgulla (Cheese Balls cooked in Jaggery Syrup)

Nolen Gur Rasgulla (Cheese Balls cooked in Jaggery Syrup)

The sweet scent in the air, that joyful feeling and happier faces. Also lots of deliciousness to indulge on. Finally festive season is here! Being a Bengali, Durga Puja is extremely close to my heart. Rhythmic beats of dhaks paired with sounds of the conch shells. Everybody dressed gorgeously in bright colors, the feeling is priceless. My absolute favorite time of the year and I have Nolen Gur Rasgulla (Cheese Balls cooked in Jaggery Syrup) for you. A treat you must try!

Bengali Basanti Pulao (sweet saffron rice pilaf) | Playful Cookinglink to Bengali Basanti Pulao (Sweet Saffron Rice Pilaf)

Bengali Basanti Pulao (Sweet Saffron Rice Pilaf)

The festive season starts in less than a month and everybody is excited about it. This season gives us an opportunity to indulge in shopping, endless treats and family get together. Sweet aroma floats in the air, people look happier and there’s so much joy everywhere. Bengali Basanti Pulao, also known as Mishti Pulao (Sweet Pilaf), is a quintessential dish during the celebrations. Bengalis love their rice, be it lunch or dinner. And when it’s celebratory or a happy gala, the rice is uplifted with whole spices, nuts and raisins.