When Choosing a ‘Mishti’ is itself a Riddle!

The quality of products is completely unmatched to the décor of the shop!

The small, not so sprawling and swanky Adi Sri Hari Mistanna Bhandar at Kalighat is still crowded since the wee hours of the day. The shop opens at 6:30 am and the craze for their ‘Gutke Kachuri’ engulfs well before the clock strikes 7. And then the trail of “mishtimukh” continues beyond afternoon, evening, till 10 pm.

Pinaki Guin and his son Rohan Guin

What Sri Laxmi Narayan Guin started more than 100 years ago with one establishment at Bhowanipur, has literally built up an enigma with another one at 25A, Kalighat Temple Road since last 27 years. And believe it, or not, even today in 21st century, in a bustling metro city like Kolkata, quality has the last smile over flamboyance.

Once Laxi Narayan breathed his last, his elder son Pinaki Guin started looking after their Kalighat branch. But as Pinaki is getting old and the need of the hour demands lot of innovation and experimentation skill, his son Rohan, a BTech Engineer with an experience to serve IBM for two years, decides to quit his job to concentrate fulltime in his family business. “I’m enjoying my stint and looking forward to embrace a new career here,” smiles Rohan. He is here to innovate new items which can cater to health-conscious young crowd. “Not innovation actually,” Rohan retaliates instantly, “I’m trying to remodel the old ones.” For example, he has brought in ‘Mini Pantua,’ ‘Kesar Phirni,’ and ‘Liquid Sandesh’ remodeling Gulab Jamun, Payesh and Makha Sandesh. And that’s a massive hit to the young people visiting his shop.

If you really have a sweet tooth, forget not to taste their ‘Two-in-one Chamcham,’ ‘Gurer Chamcham (during winter),’ ‘Rabri Sarer Roll,’ ‘Jumbo Size Lyangcha,’ and ‘Mango Bati.’ Lyangcha is exceptional to say the least. It is big, less sweet and smooth. The quality of casein is so great, that it melts within your mouth.

Post Pandemic, Rohan aims to improve on three things – more product options, better quality, and interesting presentation. And all these, he wants to do without increasing the price tag. The prolonged ‘adda’ gradually gets into the evening and in comes the tea with their signature snacks item, vegetable chop and singara (samosa) paired with immaculate chutney. Believe me, one single first bite to each one of them, and I felt, I’m enjoying the same old (much bigger here though) taste of Baghbazar in North Kolkata with which I’m acquainted since my childhood. The eyes sparkle and Rohan sweetly smiles reading the pleasure in my countenance.

Rollick Adds Wonder Quotient at 7 Wonders

Believe it, or not, Rollick poses the 8th Wonders at 7 Wonders Eco Park Kolkata!

The Gate No. 4 of Eco Park Kolkata suddenly claded in Pink spreading the message of sweetness, politeness, charm, tenderness, sensitivity, femininity, and romance as soon as Rollick, one of India’s leading ice cream brands launched their exciting new ice-cream parlour on 5th March 2021. The official launch was done by Mr. Debashis Sen, Chairman cum Managing Director of HIDCO, in presence of Ms. Anisha Aggarwal, Director, Prestige Ice Cream Private Limited. The brand’s new move to be present in every locality in Kolkata and be a part of all celebrations with their delicious ice-cream after the unlock, seems to be real good news for the food lovers across all ages in the city.

Mr. Debashis Sen Chairman, Managing Director of HIDCO looked glad and pleased with the new outlet and expressed like, “we are pleased to have an ice cream parlour of Rollick, as this one is going to be the first of its kind in Eco Park. This was much needed. And I’m thankful to Ms. Anisha Aggarwal and her team the way they responded sharply and made it possible.” Ms. Anisha Aggarwal, Director, Prestige Ice Cream Private Limited said, ‘Rollick has been a crowd favourite since its inception, with its exciting range of products and affordable pricing. We’re really overwhelmed to get great support from HIDCO in making this parlour.’

2020 talks a lot about increased hygiene and less human touch. Keeping that in mind, in 2021 Rollick has arranged pre packed tubs and sundaes. These are machine made and sealed with the highest standards of hygiene. Rollick has 30 ice cream parlours in Kolkata out of a total of 25,000 plus retail outlets in India. Keeping in mind their legacy to serve the increased demand for pre-packed food, in 2021, Rollick introduced ice cream cake rolls, sundae jars and a whole range of Kulfi flavours including Nolen Gur & Daab Malai.

Saldanhas, a Fascinating Legacy

Kolkata is a city of many stories. A tale is interwoven with every aspect of the city, be it a casual street stall in the narrow lanes of North Kolkata or an exquisite and happening hotel in the bustling streets of the South. Perhaps, the richest stories belong to those places that remain hidden from the public due to lack of proper publicity or dwindling popularity due to the progression of generations.

Park Street’s Saldanha Bakery is one such hidden gem of the city of joy that is enamored within a fascinating legacy. The Saldanhas are a Goan family who has been involved with the craft and business of baking for almost a century.

Ignatius Saldanha founded this bakery with enterprising wife Ubeline Saldanha way back in 1930, naming it ‘I, Saldanha Bakery.’ In all honesty, it was Mrs. Saldanha who started this business due to her love and passion for baking. She was a visionary who saw the potential in her skillset and decided to share it with the people. Excelling at her game, she would send out her desserts such as cakes and pastries (the latter being very different from a modern-day pastry), packed in black boxes with ‘Saldanha’ written on top. Their workers would sell these boxes throughout Kolkata and in schools as well. Presently, the business is headed by Mrs. Mona Saldanha. However, it is run by Mr. Denzil Saldanha.

Ignatius Saldanha founded this bakery with enterprising wife Ubeline Saldanha way back in 1930, naming it ‘I, Saldanha Bakery.’ In all honesty, it was Mrs. Saldanha who started this business due to her love and passion for baking. She was a visionary who saw the potential in her skillset and decided to share it with the people.

A reason why this bakery remains hidden is because of its location. You must first go to a small alley in Nawab Abdur Rahman Street and reach Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road. In Kidwai Road lies another passage with the landmark B. C. Sen Jewellers. Towards the end of this alley lies the Saldanha Bakery, on your left hand side, in a yellow-coloured house. Entering the house will lead you to a long passage and a winding staircase. Once you go up the stairs, you will be greeted by a sweet aroma, and that’s when you will know that you have reached your destination.

To this very day, the Saldanha Bakery is undoubtedly, the most excellent Anglo-Indian bakery in Kolkata. Several bakeries have opened and shut down over the course of these years, some of them being relatively high-end, but Saldanha Bakery is one such place that has withstood the test of time. Funnily, they do not have a laid-out menu since their customers know what’s available for years. Their almond cake, chicken envelope, lemon drops, wedding cake slices, chocolate walnut cake, rum balls, brownies, macaroons, and Christmas cakes are to die for. They also bake and cook for several occasions and are known for their tiered wedding cakes, which come with a satin finish. They also sell Easter eggs during Easter!

You do not need Christmas or Easter to visit the Saldanhas. Desserts have no season, and you can enjoy them throughout the year. Visit the legendary bakery while you’re on your way back home from the office, or you are done with your classes in college and want to go out for a bite with your friends. Not many eateries have witnessed the city’s journey from Calcutta to Kolkata, transforming from the British capital to its very own cosmopolitan but still a Bengali city. But, the Saldanha bakery has flourished with the city in its journey.

Address: 19, Nawab Abdur Rahman Street, Kolkata-18

Nearest Metro Station: Park Street

Pricing:

Rum Ball – Rs. 30 /-

Brownie – Rs. 40 /-

Walnut Cake – Rs. 150 – 350 /- (according to size)

This Sunday, Instead of Luchi, Enjoy These breakfasts Instead

When born to a Bengali household, it indeed is a common tradition to sit down with the family and devour luchi and aloo’rdum for breakfast on a Sunday morning. The potato variant may be aloo’r charchari or chhola’r dal, but the luchi is a must. Those who cannot have luchi due to health reasons that prevent them from having gluten, oil, or anything deep-fried, looking for an alternative to this delicious carb takes up most of their headspace. Such is the power of luchi, for it is irreplaceable. However, it is very much possible to prepare a delectable morning concoction for the Sunday breakfast in a Bengali household without luchi. The ingredients needed for these preparations are readily available, and one does not need to scurry through departmental stores, shopping malls, and bazaars to find the necessary ingredients. They can be easily prepared at home.

Sprout Salad: Sprouts are popular for being healthy and tasty. Many people like to have sprouts after their morning yoga sessions. Sprouts that have sprouted seeds are 133% higher in fibre than regular sprouts. The high fibre content helps digest the food better while keeping the stomach full for longer hours. Add some sprouts with moong to a bowl for your breakfast to ensure a high fibre meal early in the morning, which is phenomenally good for health. It contains potassium, iron, vitamin E, and other necessary micro nutrients. Adding other salad ingredients such as cucumbers, spinach, lime, and tomatoes can help add some sparkles to the meal.

Suji’r Upma: Dahlia and semolina, or suji, is available in nearly every household. If not, it can easily be bought from the local stores at very inexpensive prices. This reduces the hassle one has to go through to prepare a breakfast that everyone in the family can enjoy. Let’s start with this meal preparation as the first on the list for exciting breakfast ideas. Suji is low in fat and high in protein, making it an excellent food with desirable nutritional value. Suji can also be digested with ease and provides all the energy one needs until it is time to have lunch. Prepare this dish by mixing vegetables and masala to the suji. This will give it that sweet but salty flavour. With the right amounts of savoury, this is the recipe to success for a hit breakfast.

Chhana’r Pawd: Those who like to have milk or chhana (a form of cheese in the Indian subcontinent) can add some sugar and salt to the chhana. Top it off with chopped capsicum and tomato paste. Use this as a filling in rotis or a sandwich for a flavourful breakfast. Chhana contains fatty acids, which help burn fat. It increases the metabolism of the body, which, in turn, aids in weight loss. 

The Ilish Tramfrado: A Rare Culinary Repertoire from Tagore Family

Bengali cuisine revolves around fishes but there’s a reason why Hilsa (Ilish) is considered to be the Queen of all fishes. With an overly complicated bone structure combined with an immaculate texture, some would argue it is not only one of the best but quite possibly the best tasting fish. Even though there are great, popular Hilsa recipes such as the IlishMaachBhaaja, the IlishMaachBhaapa or the IlishMaachherJhol, sometimes, certain recipes tend to get lost. One such recipe would be the Hilsa Tramfrado. There are few things the Bengalis love the way they love their maach.

A delicious concoction of the Bengali cooking technique combined with Burmese influences, an unusual trio of coconut milk, gandharajlebu and hilsa come together to create an unusual but mouth- watering recipe called the Hilsa Tramfrado.

Ingredients:

  • Hilsa: 4 pcs
  • Vegetable Oil: 2 tbsp
  • Onion Slices: 2 medium-sized
  • Onion Paste: 2 tbsp
  • Coconut Milk: 200 ml
  • GingerPaste: 1.5 tbsp
  • Ghee: 2 tbsp
  • Turmeric Powder: 1 tbsp
  • Red Chilli Powder: 1 tbsp
  • Cinnamon: 2 medium sticks
  • Cardamom: 3 pods
  • Jaitri/Mace: 2 medium skins
  • Cloves/Labanga: 4 pcs
  • Green Chillies: 3 pcs halved
  • Gandharaj/Kaffir Lime Juice: 1 tbsp
  • Salt: To Taste
  • Sugar: 1 tbsp

Procedure:

  • Heat the oil in a pan and add some ghee. Place the chopped onions to it and fry it slightly. Add the halved chillies, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and jaitri. Fry until the onion changes its colour into a brownish shade.
  • Add ginger paste, onion paste and the red chilli powder to the onions, fry until it is cooked well. Add salt and sugar as per taste and cook for 1 minute.
  • Pour 40 ml of coconut oil to the pan and stir the onions until it dries up. Repeat this process twice and then pour the rest of the milk (120 ml) and stir.
  • Pour 100 ml of warm water to the pan and allow the gravy to thicken and the oil to separate. Stir occasionally.
  • Gently place the fish steaks in the gravy, turn and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Cover the pan and let it simmer.
  • Turn the fish in intervals so that it is cooked well.
  • Top it off with some kaffir lime juice and serve!

Hilsa Tramfrado is a lost and rare recipe (chk out the process here@ https://youtu.be/n2TJvS95Uxc?list=UUZutbrdXVJqOsyVGdjSL5IQ) from the Tagore family’s culinary repertoire. Recreate this at home and dive into the wonderful world of flavours and aromas for recipes as delectable as this must not remain lost.

Courtesy: Lost and Rare Recipes (Kitchen Tales)

Methishaak Narkel Doodh-e Murgi, a Renuka Devi Specialty for You

It is hardly an exaggeration when Bengalis are referred to as carnivores! From fish to mutton to chicken, or even pork or beef, we certainly love our fair share of animal protein. In this list, chicken is probably the most easily available and easy to cook for a fulfilling meal. With several delicious dishes available, I chose to pick for you something rare from the bygone era. This is the Methishaak Narkel Doodh e Murgi or Chicken in Fenugreek and coconut-milk gravy.

The origin of this dish goes back to the zamindari era when Renuka Debi Chowdhurani, the wife of notable zamindar Dhirendrakanta Lahiri Chowdhury, developed this delicious chicken dish. She is also the mother to famous elephant expert, Dhritikanta Lahiri Chowdhury, who used to be an efficient hunter in his early life. She was famously known for her culinary skills, and she could cook up a lip smacking delicacy with the simplest of ingredients. This chicken dish in fenugreek and coconut-milk gravy is a fine example of the magic that she could work with flavors.

More about the Dish:

To prepare this dish you would need the following ingredients:

  • 1Kg of chicken pieces evenly cut
  • 500gm of fenugreek leaves
  • 4 chopped onions along with 5-6 green chillies
  • 2 tablespoons of garlic paste and 1.5 spoon of ginger paste
  • Two tablespoons of ghee and salt to taste
  • Spices like Cinnamon,
  • 2.5 cups of coconut milk and 5 tablespoons of vegetable oil

Add the ginger and garlic paste to the chicken and add some salt before setting it out to marinate for around half an hour. Heat up some oil and put in three green chillies. It is now time to add the fenugreek leaves and gently stir them before adding salt to the mix. Keep these tossed fenugreek leaves aside for around seven minutes.

Now, add the ghee in a pan and put in the chopped onions. Fry them till they are golden brown and add the cinnamon. Now put the marinated chicken to this mixture and add some more salt to taste. Keep stirring and gently add a cup of water. Cover the pan and let it cook for a while before adding a few green chillies to add to the flavor.

Now add the fenugreek leaves to the chicken and continue cooking for some time. It is now the turn of the coconut milk to add to the flavors. Pour it in the chicken and continue stirring the mixture. Add some more ghee for the heavenly aroma to engulf the dish!

Conclusion

Your dish is now ready. You can try it out (chk out the process here @ https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZutbrdXVJqOsyVGdjSL5IQ ) with some steaming hot rice, and it would be a delightful and fulfilling meal! If you have a knack for new dishes, and you too are tired of the same old chicken dishes, this can be a fun dish to try out! Do let me know your feedback!

Courtesy: Lost and Rare Recipes (Kitchen Tales)

The Exotic Vegetarian Delicacy Called Bnadhakopir Golay Dori

We often look for something new and unique when it comes to our vegetarian dishes. What if you came across a dish that involves one of the cheaper vegetables but tastes exotic! That is precisely what we have for you today! This dish is called Bnadhakopir Golay Dori or The Strangled Cabbage and it is believed to have originated from the kitchens of Kamala Sundari Devi. She hailed from a financially weak family and couldn’t always afford the luxuries of flamboyant vegetables. Thus, she decided to turn this simple vegetarian dish into an enjoyable delicacy that can be the perfect companion for your healthy lunch! The strange name comes from the method of preparation where the cabbage has to be tied with threads before being cooked.

Ingredients required for Bnadhakopir Golai Dori

You would require the following items for cooking up this delicious dish.

  • Cabbage, Mustard Oil, Turmeric Powder, Cumin Powder, Salt, Sugar, Raisins, Garam Masala Powder, Kashmiri Chilli Powder, Green chilies, Bay Leaves, Ginger Paste, Ghee, Curd, Garam Masala.

The preparation:

First, you need to cut up the cabbage into 4 parts and each part has to be neatly tied up with a thread. Now heat some water in a pan and add a tablespoon of salt and three cinnamon sticks to the mix. You also need to add 2 cardamom and clove buds to the pan. Once you are done, place the cabbage pieces in the water and blanch. Cover up the pan with a lid and let the cabbages steam for some time.

Once the cabbages are steamed, keep them aside and work on the gravy. For this, pour about four tablespoons of oil in the pan and add two teaspoons of ghee and three Bay leaves. A teaspoon of sugar would add the necessary sweetness to the dish. Now put in the spices and fry them till it is aromatic. It is now time to add the ginger paste and stir some more while adding a cup of water to this. Put in the kashmiri chilli powder, cumin powder, and turmeric powder and keep stirring. Following this, add four green chillies to the curry and put the raisins into the gravy. You can even add some sugar and then put in the curd to add to the flavor.

Now get the steamed cabbages into this gravy and cook till they are completely done. You can now remove the threads and finish off with a dash of ghee to the dish! The delicious dish is now ready to be served with steaming hot rice and some pickle!

Conclusion:

Do try this out (chk out the process here @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fa3gr52XGxg)   I can assure you that you will be pleasantly surprised with the flavorful magic that simple cabbages can create! This can be your go-to healthy but tasty snack!

Courtesy: Lost and Rare Recipes (Kitchen Tales)

Bikrampuri Korma: A Treasure of Bangladeshi Culinary Heritage

Whenever I think about a preparation with chicken, my grandmother’s advice resounds in my ears. She always used to say, “No matter what you try with chicken, no preparation can beat Bikrampuri Korma.” With a nominal use of edible oil, this recipe is a perfect companion of rice or roti.

Bikrampur is the former name of Munshirganj that is an adjoining district of Dhaka, Bangladesh. The Korma took its name after the district.

I remember how grandmother used to prepare the dish with the magic of her hands and our house used to fill with the fragrance of the dish. When the chicken mixes with ghee, bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon, the recipe produces an exotic aroma that all of the foodies crave for.

Now have a quick look at what ingredients are required to prepare the dish:

  1. Chicken (1 kg)
  2. Beaten Curd (4 tablespoons)
  3. Milk (150 ml)
  4. Ghee (2 tablespoons)
  5. Bay Leaf (4 pcs.)
  6. Cardamoms (3 pcs.)
  7. Cinnamon (1.5 inches)
  8. Cloves (3 pcs.)
  9. Ginger paste (2 tablespoons)
  10. Onion paste (3 tablespoons)
  11. Green chili (4 pcs.)
  12. Sugar (1.5 Tablespoon)
  13. Lemon juice (2 Tablespoons)

Besides satisfying your taste buds, the dish adds up some necessary nutrients to your body. While curd helps to keep the BMI at a healthy level, cloves are there to supply your body the amount of manganese it demands. Along with keeping the BMI at a balanced level, the curd helps in losing weight. Along with cloves, there are Bay leaves that also manage the requirement of manganese. Bay leaves supply a sufficient amount of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, Potassium, Calcium, and Manganese.

When I had tried the recipe, I was a total amateur at cooking. I would suggest you to follow the process thoroughly that is mentioned here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qa3ewJB9giI). You just need to take all the ingredients in proper quantity and have the courage to try something new. The rest is just a matter of time. The dish doesn’t take more than 30 minutes to prepare. Boil the chicken well so that it doesn’t create a problem in digestion though curd is there to help you digest the food easily.

A combination of health and taste is rare in this age of “2 minutes” food. So, this weekend are you going to make your guests say in wonder, “What on earth does have such beautiful flavor and aroma?!”

Courtesy: Lost and Rare Recipes (Kitchen Tales)

P.C: Lost & Rare Recipes (Kitchen Tales)

650 Years Old & Kicking! The Unforgettable Belgian Hoegaarden Wheat Beer!

Who doesn’t like the occasional sinful indulgence to have a gala time! And what better way to celebrate those moments than to down your tension in a tall glass of chilled beer! I have often enjoyed one of these soft n tasty alcoholic beverages during my rare leisure moments. A few days ago, I was spending some quality time with my family at the Holiday Inn Kolkata and I suddenly got intrigued by my son to have and enjoy some Belgian Hoegaarden Wheat Beer. I was blown away at the rich taste of this fine beverage and couldn’t stop myself from putting my thoughts into words.

All about the Belgian Hoegaarden Beer:

I got myself a 375ml bottle for just INR 550, and for the quality on offer, the price seemed pretty reasonable. What amazed me the most was the lightness of the beer, despite the enriching taste of the hard-hitting alcohol inside it. I could tell that the beer had been processed with care and was intrigued to dig deeper into the brand to learn more about their history. Here is what I found out!

This beer originates from the exotic corners of Belgium, where it is believed that monks were churning out delicious alcoholic beverages as early as the 14th century. In a village called Hoegaarden, is this famous brewery that has floored the world with the quality of beer that they manage to provide for the price. It was started by a milkman, but now it has gone on to become one of the giants in the alcohol industry, delivering to over 70 nations.  Although they produce various types of beer, their wheat beer variant is the most popular. From the taste of one chilled sip, I could tell why! The beer is the perfect companion for the thirsty tired soul that needs some refueling before getting back to routine again!

Their other forms of beer include Rose, Citron, Julius, Forbidden Fruit, and many other beverages that contain somewhat the same alcohol content. I was impressed with what I had, and am definitely trying this brand out one more time when I have the opportunity.

Conclusion:

A simple beer would have been enough to win me over. So you can imagine my plight when I tasted the excellence of this one, a brand that is over six centuries and fifty years old! It seems practice does make a man perfect!

Have You Ever Tried Kancha Lankar Jhol (Green Chili Curry)?

Can you imagine Indian cuisine without spice? I certainly cannot with all the mouth-watering dishes on offer that have a generous dose of spice in them. Now when it comes to heat, we Indians have mastered the art of eating the spiciest of dishes as long as they are delicious. Such has been the case with our consumption of chili. Ever since Portuguese introduced us to this unique specimen, we can’t seem to get enough of it! We literally add it to most of our dishes for the heat and for the flavor. But, have you ever considered a curry dish where chili is the stand-alone item?

The Kancha Lankar Jhol is just that, originating in the rural areas of Bengal. This is a lip-smacking curry item that uses green chilies as their main ingredient. However, contrary to what you may think, this dish isn’t the spiciest on offer. This is because during the cooking procedure, the heat of the chili is neutralized by the usage of milk. The end-result is an aromatic, flavorful, and spicy dish that complements steaming hot rice brilliantly.

How to get going and make some delicious Kancha Lankar Jhol?

The ingredients that you will need include 15-20 green chilies, flour, salt, turmeric, nigella seeds, mustard oil, and milk. Take the milk in a bowl and add about a tablespoon of flour in it. Then add a tablespoon of turmeric and stir into a mix. Heat some oil in the pan and add the nigella seeds. Thereafter add the chilies and fry them a little before adding the mixture of milk and flour. Stir repeatedly and reduce the gravy while adding salt to taste. You need to cook it for around 5-6 minutes and once you are done, you can finish with some raw mustard oil. Your flavorful yet simple dish is ready. Try it out with some steaming hot rice and enjoy the rich taste of a lost cuisine.

If you’re interested to look at the video clip of the preparation, chk out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FagVj8Mpms

Conclusion:

It is time to move over the conventional vegetables, fish, and meat items, and explore the uncharted territories of Indian cuisine. In this case, you will have one of the most delicious things from the most unconventional recipe. It is high time you tasted the brilliance of our very own, authentic, Kancha Lankar Jhol!

Courtesy: Lost and Rare Recipes (Kitchen Tales)