If you are a follower of this blog, you will know that paneer is one of my favorite ingredients. I love paneer as much as I love chicken. I always try to experiment with different paneer dishes. However I have rarely tried to create a well-known paneer dish like Kadai Paneer. Since today is our weekly vegetarian day, I wanted to cook a paneer dish. I looked through some cookbooks and decided on creating a Kadai Paneer.
Diwali is around the corner. I miss the sweets and special fish dishes mom cooked for us around the festival holidays. Sumi and I don’t do anything special. But we try to have a different type of fish during these days which we would not have regularly. This is because fish is considered lucky and auspicious. We bought Paiya fish yesterday. I had it once before at a friend’s place and it tasted great.
Whenever it rains, it takes me back to my childhood. Both Boomboom and I grew up in the chilly Northern and Eastern India. Inherently, rains accompanied a severe drop in temperature. The perfect rainy evening consisted of crispy potato and chicken pakodas with coffee. Mom used to cook these frequently but they became tasted extraordinary on a rainy day. Our whole family would sit together and savor theses pakodas.
My mom cooks wonderful mutton. Khashir Mangsho (Goat meat) is a popular delicacy in Bengal and is especially served during festivals. During our Durga Puja festival, on the Maha Ashthami (eighth day), Boomboom’s side of the family definitely have this dish. The gravy is turned healthy by adding loads of vegetables. These add great flavor into the dish. I have such fond memories of childhood. During the rainy days, I used to get so excited when I returned from school to a hot meal of plain rice and mutton gravy.
Paneer remains my all time favorite. When I was a kid (I am not one now despite what my mom wants me to believe), mom always made a paneer dish once a day. Lunch always used to contain fish, which is obvious as we were a typical Bengali family, but on Saturdays it was no fish. Instead we had a paneer dish. As far as I was concerned for me it made no difference.
This is going to be the final post of the year. We have not been regular with our posting this year too but things have picked up since November and I am happy for that reason. We are visiting our parents right now and we’ve been here since 24th and we will go back to Bangalore on 1st. Sumi is still following her diet (minus the first day when she just couldn’t resist Mom’s cooking).
My favourite non-vegetarian item has always been fish. Mom tells me that the first thing I had at my “Annaprashan”, or the Hindu rite of passage, was fish even though they tried to push in rice grin. In our culture, rice should be the 1st food which an infant takes during the ceremony but I just loved the smell and taste of fish. Throughout my childhood, I loved fish so much that I used to get upset if there was no fish during lunch any day.
I guess Prawns are growing on me. I should credit Sumi for it. She cooked this awesome recipe today and I want more. The past few months I have not been able to strictly follow a completely low carb diet due to personal reasons. From today we have decided to get back into the regime again. We went to the market yesterday and got some fresh prawns and lots of fish.
Prawns (Chingri in Bengali) are an all time favorite of a typical Bengali. I guess I am the only exception. For some strange reason, I never took any fancy with them since childhood. I say strange because I have started to like them a little now, even though there are only few types of preparation that I like now. I had a friend in my class who once commented that no self-respecting Bengali can not like prawns.
Its been quite a while since we posted a recipe. The new year has been quite busy so far. Lots going on in our personal and professional lives. As a result we couldn’t experiment much with the food. Coupled up with our low carb diet, its safe to say that the new year has been a disaster in terms of food smiles However we did go to Calcutta in December/January and this time we made sure to pick up some recipes from our moms.