Raja Nabakrisna Deb, though a great patron of local cultural activities such as kabi-gaan was said to be the one who started the practice of hosting nautch parties in Calcutta during Durga Pujas and the nautch girl captivated the heart of the gora sahib for the next two centuries, holding him spellbound by her soft, seductive beauty, graceful movements and mellifluous voice.
Sikkim, on the northeastern fringes of India, perched on the Himalayan terrains has remained under the mountain mist and shadows, remote and at times removed from mainstream India. Located in the southern part of the state, Temi is the only tea estate in Sikkim yet one of the finest in India and relished worldwide.
For the past week, Piu has been toying with an idea. Next day while chatting on Skype, she could not hold back and blurted out, “Mom why don’t you two marry? I have no objections if that is what is holding you back.” Clearly, taken aback, her mother was quiet for a few seconds. Did I hurt her? Piu thought desperately, did she miss Dad? Did she think she would be betraying his memories? Piu waited for her response.
It was about 2 pm in the night of April 1, 1868. The beat constable after completing his round was returning to Amherst Street when he noticed a bundle of female clothes lying on the other pavement. In the light of his bull’s-eye lantern he realized it was a body – of a young woman lying in a pool of blood. The throat was slit open diagonally. The weapon used to commit the crime – a long sailor’s knife, “moderately sharp”, was found near the spot.
When it comes to mutton tawa masala it is truly the preferred dish for a lazy weekend, an answer to our heart-felt longing for a mutton dish but without going into the hassles of preparing an elaborate fare for the day.
Murg Zafrani is a gorgeous dish of whole chicken leg pieces cooked in thick tomato gravy with few selected spices and zafran. It goes well with paratha, naan or even plain roti (Indian flat bread) but, perhaps the best with – white rice cooked with butter, and mint chutney in the side.
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.
‘Rosogolla’ is almost synonymous with Bengalis. A Bengali who doesn’t like rosogolla is perceived to be like a Brazillian who doesn’t watch football. After Nabin Chandra Das made his sweet ‘discovery’ of white sponge-like balls floating in sugary syrup, Bengali sweetmeat makers unleashed their imagination and eventually rosogolla found itself many avatars. Baked Rosogolla is one among them.
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”