Saturday, August 20, 2016

2 Home Cooks & a Home Baker

Rakshabandhan and a Birthday rolled into one, two occasions for ever-hungry souls like us to get into super gluttonous mode!
 Lunch was Bengali food from Pakshaal, Shaonli Sengupta’s Home Kitchen.

I consider myself to be a fish racist & I am totally partial towards the variety coming out of the Sea & prefer to stay away from the river variety as much as possible. My experience with fresh-water fish has always been disastrous in and around Pune & at the risk of ruffling a few feathers here I personally find fresh water fish a bit off in terms of smell; I somehow believe (with no data to back my belief) that this might be because of the contaminated water sources. The only time I truly feasted on fresh-water fish was during my stay in Kalimpong & Gangtok where fish used to be sourced from the lovely Teesta River & used to be completely odourless.

Due to all this, my love for Bengali food was always restrained & limited to the Kosha Mangsho, Kosha Murgir Mangsho & Chingri Curry. While in conversation with Shaonli for ordering for the food she kind of talked me into going in for the Doi Maach & with utmost reluctance I did.
Coming from a Maharashtrian household, Doi/Dahi & Fish together are a complete no-no; if my late mother would’ve been around I’d have been without a roof on my head today for committing the sin of having these two together!

The Doi Maach turned around my belief about fresh water fish, not sure if this was because of the rightly sourced fish or the cooking skills of the lady but I enjoyed the Katla as much as I would’ve enjoyed my Pomfret, Surmai, Halwa or Rawas! The curry was mildly flavoured & went well with Rice. The fish, fried before going into the curry, a very typical Bengali cooking method, gave it a slight skin & the flesh beneath was super soft. The fish pieces were gigantic & were sufficient for 3 adults to make a meal.

(Doi Maach)

Anuja had read about a Duck Egg Curry that Shaonli makes & being an Egg lover she ordered for a portion of the same. This, Shaonli told me, was her take on the Shorshe Deem or the Mustard flavoured Egg Curry. Slightly milder & less pungent than the regular Shorshe curry this Hansh’er Deem’er Curry was an absolute treat.

(Hansh'er Deem'er Curry)

v         Being the Brother-in-Law’s birthday, his nephew wanted to order a cake with a lot of specifications. Cakey Bakey Doo’s Payal Potdukhe has been our go-to baker & a quick chat with her ensured that the cake was ready on the given day & time to be picked up.

Chocolate cake with Chocolate-Orange Mousse with a Captain America Shield on top (all this fuss about Super Heros fails to elude my understanding!) made up for an excellent cake. The cake was absolutely melt-in-the-mouth, soft & fresh. The orange flavour, though it came as a surprise, complimented & elevated the chocolatey flavour. Payal always makes sure that the cake is spot on in terms of taste, flavours, freshness & appearance & this time wasn’t any different!

v          Main Course, upon the Birthday Boy’s insistence came from Chiya’s Gourmet’s Jaspreet & Chandrika Nirula.  

      A couple of months back we’d ordered for a Bhuna Mutton from the Nirulas amongst other things & the Birthday Boy had been craving for it ever since! A quick chat with Chandrikaji & we ordered for a humongous quantity of Bhuna Mutton (with the intention to have leftovers for the next couple of days!) & Lal Maas.

The Laal Maas had a nice deep red colour to the gravy but wasn’t half as spicy as it appeared! A nice layer of fat on top, this one looked extremely appetizing upon opening the container & we attacked it at the word go (or was it even before that!!??)

The Bhuna was so good that the guests at the party ensured that the Birthday boy wouldn’t have to deal with it for more than one post party meal!  

(Laal Maas & Bhuna Mutton)

The mutton in both these preparations was cooked to perfection, almost falling off the bone but just short of it, which goes on to show the command the chef has on his dish!

All-in-all it was a day well spent!

Links to reach the concerned:
Chiya’s Gourmet:


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