‘Doi begun’ (in Bengali) or ‘dahi baigan’ (in Hindi) is – ‘fried eggplant in yoghurt sauce’; it is one of the simplest but delicious dishes that one can prepare for a meal. This dish falls into “anybody can cook” category; yet, it is different from the usual curry.
An avid carnivore, my daughter Mohona loves paneer, the only vegetarian fare she finds delicious. She often says that she can eat as much paneer (cottage cheese) as we can dish out and in whatever form. Among the various preparations – paneer in thick tomato gravy and malai paneer possibly feature at the very top of her list of favourites.
Celebrations on Noboborsho’ – the Bengali New Year is considered incomplete without a spread of authentic Bengali dishes. ‘Basanti Pulao’ is one of the star dishes gracing the Noboborsho (the Bengali New Year Day) spread. ‘Basanti Polao’ is a form of ‘pulao’ prepared with a fragrant variety of rice, ‘Gobindo bhog’, typically grown in Bengal.
‘Aglio e olio’ in Italian simply means ‘garlic and oil’ (pronunciation: ‘alio e olio’). It is a simple, traditional but delicious spaghetti dish with garlic and olive oil as the two primary ingredients. For me, it is very rare when a vegetarian dish upstages a non vegetarian one but, Spaghetti Aglio e Olio is definitely one of them.
Zereshk Pilaf – the fragrant rice dish cooked generally with dried, wild, red berries (‘Zereshk’ or ‘Zeresk’) and zafran (saffron) will take you to Persia where it was believed to have originated. Zereshk Pilaf is more popular in India as ‘Barberry Pilaf’ or simply ‘Berry Pulao’ since it was believed to be introduced in India by the Zoroastrians.
Au gratin is a simple and popular casserole dish, prepared with both vegetarian and non vegetarian ingredients. Almost all connoisseurs of continental food are familiar with the dish called “au gratin”