Eating out in Kolkata is satisfying and a treat, for sure! Homemade food comes in abundance, like I said in my last post, but if you want to step out you have options galore.
Last December, AB and I were on a ten-day whirlwind trip to Kolkata. We were primarily there for some visa-related work but since we were home after three years, family, friends, and relatives didn’t stop short of smothering us with an abundance of homemade delicious meals – for breakfast, lunch, tea-time snacks, dinner, and the time that is between! With my camera in tow, I clicked as much as I could, secretly trying to capture the love with which all these were made.
This is freshly made paneer or ‘chhena’ ( a.k.a. ‘chhana’) or fresh Indian cheese. The texture of this cheese is slightly firmer than ricotta cheese, the latter being very creamy. However, if you knead it well, this ‘chhena’ becomes very smooth and creamy, too. Also, the process of making ricotta cheese and ‘chhena’ are the same. Even though an internet-search shows paneer is ‘cottage cheese’, the texture of the two are very different. Cottage cheese is loose with curds while paneer or ‘chhena’ is not loose.
‘Chhena’ can be easily made at home and stored in an airtight container, mixed with sugar and other flavors to prepare sweets or desserts during the Indian festive season! Read More
This is the quintessential, simple, mutton (goat) stew that is made in most Bengali homes on a Sunday afternoon. Of course, it is meant to be relished and devoured with ‘gorom bhaat’ (steamed white rice). Read More
What is ‘Nolen Gur’? Why is it so unique?
‘Nolen Gur’, ‘Notun Gur’ or ‘Khejur Gur’ is Date Palm Jaggery that is unique to Bengal. With the onset of a nip in the air, the local sweet (dessert) shops, in my hometown of Kolkata, are buzzing with eager customers buying the dairy-based sweets made with the ‘New Jaggery’. ‘Nolen’ stands for new, and ‘gur’ stands for jaggery.
This is fresh, spicy, and homemade minced chicken or chicken keema for the winter-struck soul. Read More
Sondesh is a type of sweet treat that is typical to Kolkata or (Calcutta, if you please!) And it’s notorious for it’s popularity among Bengalis! It is high in protein because it’s made with cheese or ‘chhana’ or ‘chena’ that is derived from fresh whole milk. The added delight to this is the number of flavors it comes in. Sondesh can be consumed as a treat just by itself, a snack or even dessert. I do know people in Calcutta who literally need to eat one sondesh a day after their meal or that meal remains incomplete! But then again, we have to agree that in Calcutta sweets are not only popular, they are readily and very easily available in the city. Outside Bengal, it is known as ‘sandesh‘. Read More