Diwali-Diya-Daler Vada

Autumn in India is all about festivals. Every day brings in the smell of the coming festivities, the joys and the of course the food. Shopping, visting places, meeting relatives and friends,travelling, pandal hopping, worshipping the goddesses, painting the house, coloring rangolis, eating, cooking –  all comes as if in a package in this festival season.

Diyas for sale at a street side stall in Gariahat market, Kolkata

Diyas for sale at a street side stall in Gariahat market, Kolkata

Getting the diyas ready- part I

Getting the diyas ready- part I

Getting the diyas ready- part II

Getting the diyas ready- part II

For the last couple of days I had been doing all these. Visiting my native was one of the main dos in the list. I visited Kolkata, my hometown. As you all feel when you go back home after a long long time I felt the same. My mom, my aunts and everybody in there was ready to welcome me with my favorite platters. For one whole week I had been eating and eating with of course learning these dishes.

Diyas ready to light

Diyas ready to light

Rangoli with pista shell lamps at my Bangalore flat

Rangoli with pista shell lamps at my Bangalore flat

As I was not able to celebrate Diwali with my family, I managed to have the taste of the celebration a few days before the day. Me and my sister went out shopping for the terracotta diyas and painted them with acrylic paints, it was so much fun.

Talking about food I had a pretty good share of the typical home-made dishes and I’ll be putting up one in each of my following posts starting from today with Daler Vada. Daler vada is a typical Bengali starter and also a side dish with rice and dal.

Serves 4


Motor Dal powder: 100 gms

Onions (Peyaj): 3 medium sizes, juliened

Green chilli (Kacha Lanka): 4, cut into small ringlets

Turmeric powder (Halud Guro): 1 teaspoon

Mustard oil (Sarser tel): 1 tablespoon and extra for deep frying

Salt to taste


  • Take the onions in a bowl and pour in one tablespoon of oil and soak in the onions.
  • Add the other ingredients to the onions.
  • Pour in enough matter to make a soft dough and keep for half an hour.
  • Heat oil in a pan and fry the dough in small balls.
  • Serve with sauce as starter or with rice and dal as a great side dish.
Daler Vada with tomato sauce

Daler Vada with tomato sauce

Hope you had a great Diwali. Stay in touch for more updates on my Kolkata trip.

Happy Cooking and Happy Eating.

This recipe goes to my dear friend Priti’s blog event Festive Food: Diwali Celebration

Also sending the recipe to JFI – Nov’08 – Festival Diwali hosted by Srivalli.

What better than some pakoras with a little chit chatting in parties, and this is a great easy to make snack for any party, so sending my recipe to WYF: Party Food event announcement hosted by Simple Indian Food- An Easy Cooking Blog.

Priya has also got a little present for me this Diwali, check my awards page for more details.


Vanilla Rabdi

Birthdays are special to everybody. Where ever you are and whatever state you are in everybody wants to celebrate ones birthday in the possible way. I am absolutely no exception to this. Yesterday was my birthday and of course I enjoyed it. Enjoyment and cooking – I can not keep these two words separately, so had to cook something. The festival season and also for my blog event in mind it was an unanimous decision to prepare something sweet.

Serves 4


Milk (Dudh): 1 litre

Caster Sugar (Guro Chini): 50 gms

Eggs (Dim): 4, yolks taken out

Milk powder (Guro Dudh): 4 tablespoons

Vanilla essence: ½ teaspoon

Dry fruits of choice preferably almonds, cashew and raisins


  • Boil the milk in low flame till it becomes almost half the original volume.
  • Take the egg whites in a bowl and milk powder to it. Beat the egg vigorously so that the milk powder doesn’t form any lumps.
  • Once the egg is properly beaten add vanilla essence to it.
  • With a tablespoon add the beaten egg to the milk and as it forms a lump take it out. Do it repeatedly till the egg is exhausted.
  • If extra milk is left out then simmer and lessen the volume.
  • Add dry fruits to the rabid and pour in the left out milk over it.

Alternately, if you don’t want to work so much then just pour in the beaten egg in the milk and boil till the milk forms a lump.

Chill and serve garnished with dry fruits.

vanilla rabdi

Among all these festivities I share this recipe with Pallavi for her new blog event Yummy Festival Feast- Diwali

Happy Cooking and Happy Eating


Event of the month: Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

With the fall of autumn festivals are in the air. Lines of Puja and festivities come and go. This is the time of the year when we all come out of our regular routines and spend some time with family and friends. When it comes about enjoying with our near and dear ones, we just can not leave apart our sweet tooth. Sharing gifts and sweets are a main event of this festival season.

This event is to tickle that child inside us, who always want to indulge in sweet, never minding the calories we gain.

Any dish that is sweet will be welcome for the event. Baked or cooked on flame, doesn’t matter as long as the food is sweet you are welcome to send in your entry. Anything that is sweet under the sun is welcome for this event. It may be cakes, pastries, sweet meats, kheer, payesam, or anything new that you come up with.

I will be glad if you can add the link to this post along with the event logo on your post you are sending for this event.

Send in your entries to bengalicuisine[at]gmail[dot]com with the subject line Satisfy your Sweet tooth” along with the following details –

  • Name:
  • Location:
  • Post:
  • URL of the post:
  • Attach a photo of the recipe:

You can also send in you old posts with a link to this event.

Those of you who don’t have a blog please attach your entry in a .doc file along with a photo of the recipe and send in to the above mentioned email id.

All entries to be sent by the 12th of November, 2008 (IST).


Caramel Pudding

Whole year long every Bong waits for the Durga Puja to arrive and just within 4 days the festivity all over. Saptami, Ashtami, Nabami and the last day Dashami makes the end of all these grandeur. As the mythology says Goddess Durga bids farewell to her parents’ home and goes back to Kailash where her husband Lord Shiva resides. Puja in Kolkata is always special. Here in Bangalore though I got to see three idols and had a little taste of the whole festivity.
Bijoya Dashami starts with the immersion of the goddess. We have a custom to share sweets to every near and dear ones. I don’t have much near and dear ones here in this land, thousands of miles away from my native. So to keep the custom going I had something special prepared for my friends.
Sweet is the word that comes to mind when its Bijoya Dashami time. I am no exception. When everybody around wants to loose weight you can not just burden them with a huge plate of sweet, so caramel pudding is just to satisfy your sweet tooth as well as keep your calorie conscious self happy.

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Serves 4


Milk (Dudh): 1 liter
Bread crumbs (Pau roti guro): 1 small bowl
Eggs (Dim): 2, keeping out the yolk separately
Caster Sugar (Guro Chini): 6 tablespoons
Vanilla essence: 1 teaspoon
Dry fruits of choice
Caramel: 1 tablespoon

Bread crumbs

Bread crumbs


• Boil the milk continuously for a long time so that it becomes one-fourth of its original volume.
• Add the bread crumbs and bring to boil.
• Keep aside to cool.

Milk kept to cool

Milk kept to cool

• Take the eggs along with vanilla and stir it well so that it becomes less viscous and the vanilla gets well mixed with the egg white.
• Put the beaten eggs to the cooled milk and pour the whole mixture into a small steel tiffin box.
• In a deep pan put the tiffin box and pour in water till the half of the box is under water.
• Put the whole apparatus over flame and heat till vanilla smell comes out of it. Add water if necessary.
• When the pudding is done take it out of flame and let it cool.
• Open the lid and invert the whole pudding over a plate. Pour in a tablespoon of caramel and decorate with dry fruits of choice.
• Chill and serve.
Enjoy the caramel pudding as dessert for dinner or just serve it.


With milk and eggs this one is a very healthy food for everyone of any age group I am sending this to Diet Food Event hosted by Divya.

Sending it to Lunch Box Special Event hosted by Vandana.

Also contributing this recipe to Low and Slow event.

What better to celebrate this festival season than to send my recipe to Pallavi’s Yummy Festival Feast.

Sending this to  Santa’s Holiday Challenge hosted by JZ@Tasty Treats.


Happy Cooking and Happy Eating


Malabar Chicken

From my childhood I always wished where ever I am I should be at my home in Kolkata for the Durga Puja. We have a century old tradition of worshiping the deity. But, this time it’s a little different. I am away from home for the first time in my life during the Durga Pujas. I am missing every bit of this gorgeous festival.

If you are in Kolkata we’ll never be able to ignore the arrival of this festive season. With the start of September you can feel the Puja is nearing. All the markets and for now the shopping malls are flooded with people to buy new clothes, shoes, and house hold articles. As the big day nears, the foot paths are barricaded with bamboo pillars to control the heavy crowd. There are big hoardings of advertisements on every nook and corner of the city. With all these grandeur and pomp comes our idol. I miss those lazy afternoons sitting at my neighborhood Puja pandal chit chatting with my friends. All my relatives come to my place to worship the deity. O, I miss everything about Kolkata.

There is nothing more I can do but to think about the by gone days of living in Kolkata during the Durga Pujas. So, just to make myself a little happier than I am right now, I thought of adding some special recipes for this occassion.

Living in the Southern part of India, these days I come across a lot many South Indian cuisine. Every region in South India has got its own style of cooking. Malabar region is in the South-western part of India, facing the Arabian Sea. Lots of spices like cloves, coriander, cardamom, black pepper grow in the hilly terrain of the Malabar Coast. All their cuisine is done with these spices. The Malabar Chicken is just one such example of the rich cuisine of this coastal region.

Serves 2


Chicken (Murgi): 500gms

Onion paste (Peyaj bata): 2 tablespoons

Desiccated coconut (Narkel korano): ½ cup

Coriander leaves (Dhane pata): 1 tablespoon

Green chili paste (Kacha Lanka bata): 1 ½ tablespoon

Garlic-ginger paste (Ada-rasun bata): 1 tablespoon

Red chili powder (Sukhno Lanka guro): 1 teaspoon

Tamarind paste (Tetul bata): 1 tablespoon

Coriander powder (Dhane guro): 1 teaspoon

Clove (Labango): 5 to 6

Black pepper (Gol morich): 10 -12

Turmeric powder (Halud guro): 1 teaspoon

Sunflower oil (Sada tel): 1 tablespoon

Salt to taste


For preparing the tamarind paste:

  • Take out the pulp of 5 or 6 tamarind pods and dip in water for ½ an hour.
  • With a sieve separate the pulp from the tamarind water, and keep the tamarind water for later use.

For the curry:

  • Heat oil in a wok. Throw in the ginger-garlic paste, onion paste, black pepper, green chili paste and tamarind water, sauté for 2 minutes.
  • Add red chili, coriander and turmeric powder along with the desiccated coconut. Fry till the coconut turns brownish.
  • Add water and cook for 5 -7 minutes.
  • Add the chicken and add water till necessary.
  • Cook till the chicken becomes tender, adding water if required.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves.
Malabar Chicken Curry

Malabar Chicken Curry

Serve with just cooked rice and enjoy the taste of the Malabar chicken.

Sending this sensational side dish to Ruth’s Sensational Sides Event.

Also sending over to Aartee’s Sapadu Ready Event

Sending this recipe to Pallavi’s Yummy Festival Feast- Diwali.

Happy Cooking and Happy Eating.


Durga Puja

Durga Puja is a very special occassion for all of us. All year through we wait to spend these 4 days with the best grandeur possible.

Wait for the special recipes for the Pujas.

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