Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The traditional Bengali Chaler Payesh

Chaler Payesh is a traditional Bengali sweet dish that can be traced to a couple of millenniums. Chal in Bengali means rice and Payesh is derived from the Sanskrit word which means milk. Such similar dishes with milk and rice can be found all over the Indian subcontinent and is more popularly called Kheer in North India. Legend has it that the English rice pudding can be traced back to kheer or rather Chaler Payesh. Here is my recipe for a more traditional Bengali Chaler Payesh.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Musée Curie : A scientific saga of five Nobel Prizes

It was the weekend of European Heritage Days (called Journée Européennes du Patrimoine in French). This annual event offers opportunities to visit numerous monuments and sites across the 50 signatory states of the  European Cultural Convention, mostly free of cost and with special exhibits and displays which are reserved exclusively for this occasion. This year the theme for this event in France was “Heritage and citizenship”, which according to Jean-Pascal Lanuit, (Director, Cultural Affairs of Ile de France), helps to go beyond the concept of nationality and gives a broader collective sense to the event in terms of political engagement of all the individuals that live in France. This year, 17,000 monuments were exclusively opened for this day throughout France with 26,000 temporary exhibits, 2,500 of them being the Paris region.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Minced Meat Pulao, Dhaniya Chicken and Raita : An Indian style Sunday dinner.

I decided to give a treat to one of my friends, so I needed to pull something out of my sleeve. I had no ghee (clarified butter) but so what!! Pure fresh butter from Normandy can replace it. Two different continents but what matters most is the taste and it is always the pleasure to taste good food. So I went to the farmer's market of our region and got hold of fresh cream and fresh butter. Yes! You got it right, we can make great Indian dishes with French butter and cream (Cows know no national barriers, so why should humans!!!). Here is how we can do it. 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Charleville-Mézières : Of Rimbaud and Cabaret Vert

It was a sunny Saturday morning, the day after the rocking night with the French rock band Indochine at the opening of the Cabaret Vert rock festival. I checked out from the hotel with a back pack dangling from my shoulders and set out on the streets of Charleville-Mézières still in a daze. Musee Rimbaud and Place Ducale were on my check list but first I had to grab some tea to ease my headache due to lack of sleep. My first stop was at a small cafe where I had a croissant and a cup of tea, Mitra opted for pain au raisin and coffee. The cup of tea was an antidote to my headache.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Gambas Pil Pil : A popular Spanish Tapa.

Sunday morning, a rather pleasant overcast autumn morning and a perfect stroll on such Sundays always lead us to the weekly farmers’ market of our neighborhood. The most important reason for finding ourselves at these farmers’ markets rather than the conglomerate supermarkets is simply the freshness and the superior quality of the products here. This week I bought prawns and tried my hand at a Spanish popular tapa, the “Gambas Pil Pil”. I must say that I tried this tapa at a beach shack on my recent trip to Malaga and I really liked it. So when I saw the fresh prawns at the farmers’ market I could not resist taking them home. Here is how you can try to make Gambas Pil Pil yourself.  Generally the dish is done with headless prawns but since I love the juicy heads, I spared chopping them off.