Happy Diwali to all my friends and readers who encourage me to keep going on with my blog. Thanks for all your love and support even though I have been infrequent in publishing posts for last couple of months.
What is your happiest memory of Diwali? Kali Pujo aka Diwali is not a mighty occasion as Durga Pujo in the City of Joy. But Kali Pujo brings back some beautiful childhood, girlhood and womanhood memories of my life spent in Kolkata. Kali Pujo reminds me of my late pet Bonnie who scared of all the resounding firecrackers bursting outside used to skip into my arms, shivering to the bones, for comfort and taking the opportunity of his dread, I would cuddle him incessantly. Kali Pujo reminds me of those long hours of chit-chat session with my childhood best friend on the rooftop of her house throughout the evening to late night with a dig into the lip-smacking bhoger khichuri from the local pujo. Kali Pujo reminds me of Nera Pora which takes place just a day before Diwali in which an effigy of a demon made of hay is burnt with plenty of potatoes placed inside the fire and after the fire is doused, those burnt potatoes are relished with pleasure.
Though sitting amid the pin-drop silence of my current neighborhood, it is impossible to fathom that such a mighty colorful festivity is going on in one corner of the world which has illuminated the whole country. What is most unfortunate is that I stay in an apartment where there is no balcony and the entire house being made of wood, I am quite scared of decorating the house with lighted candles lest it catches fire, so I have done my bit by lighting a string of tiny bulbs over the windows. It is looking bright like never before.
(The above piece I had written exactly a week before on Diwali but lazy me I took hell lot of time to edit the snaps of food. Anyway please bear with my laziness and enjoy the post that was meant to be posted on Diwali.)
The recipe below is not Diwali special anyway. Into my 4th weeks of pregnancy, I am trying to avoid anything that requires elaborate preparation. So this one below is quite an appropriate preparation for people looking for quick recipes. I have got the recipe from Facebook shared by one of my friends who happens to be an expert in vegetarian dishes. I seem to have a lot to learn from her. Thanks Neha.
Ingredients: Cooking time: 15-20 minutes
ü 2 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
ü 2-3 tomatoes (pureed)
ü 4-5 green chillies (ground into paste)
ü 1 tsp turmeric powder
ü 1 tsp Kashmiri red mirch
ü 1 tsp cumin powder
ü 1 tsp coriander powder
ü Salt to taste
ü Jaggery, according to your liking (I added a small chunk of palm jaggery)
ü White oil for cooking
ü 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
ü 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
ü 2 dry red chillies
ü 1/2 tsp hing or asafetida powder
(Note: You may use tamarind instead of tomatoes to add the taste of tanginess.)
1) Heat oil in a cooking vessel. When oil turns hot, add the ingredients for sauté and allow them to sputter.
2) As the ingredients begin to sputter, add tomato puree, green chilli paste, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and Kashmiri red mirch. Sauté the mixture for 2 minutes till oil floats on the surface.
3) Add potatoes and toss them into the mixture. Add salt, jiggery and 1 cup of water. Cook covered till potatoes are tender.
4) Serve hot with roti, puri or paratha. Yumm !