Saturday, November 14, 2009

team bengali cooking lesson

This weekend is becoming a feast of Bengali home cooking ... last night I was treated to a wonderful meal with Paula and her family. Sadly no photo!

Lunch today was with Smriti, Abhijit and Bhutu ... and Smriti is a fantastic cook. Look at this ...

Clockwise from top left:
pumpkin and coconut
rice cooked with lime leaves
moog dhal (divine!)
machher jhol (fish with cauliflower and potato)
lal saag (eaten with a mustard dressing)

It is important to eat the dishes as courses rather than just piling all up on your plate at once. Rice you have with all of them, starting with the lal shaak and ending with the machher jhol. This way you really taste the subtleties of each combination of 'phoron' or spice mix. Mustard oil, mustard seeds, kalo jeera (like a black cumin seed), tumeric, ginger and garlic are like the staples in many Bengali recipes.

The food was light and so flavoursome. I think I am in heaven.

And there is more! Jal jeera ... a peppery salty drink made from ground cumin seeds, lime juice and water. It's a drink taken during the hot summer months that is hydrating and cooling for the body. Heaven still.

1 comment: