Thursday, December 31, 2009
Time to Get Serious About Bengali Cooking
Aarti on the boti above - a traditional Indian knife used for cutting vegetables, fruits and fish. The user puts their foot on the wood plank and pushes the item into the knife. Aarti swears by it for its precision and won't use any other knife.
It is hard to believe that we have been in Kolkata for over 17 months now. The time has gone by so quickly. Sicily was 14 months when she arrived, so she has now been in India longer than she has lived in the U.S. During our time in India is when she really began to develop her palette for real food.
A couple of days ago I put a big bowl of rice and a bowl of dahl on the table with some small empanada-type pastries ("puffs" for English slang here). Sicily proceeded to put a huge amount of rice on her plate, make a hole in the middle and then start to spoon dahl into the hole. She then ate the entire plate. It was at that point that I realized, we really need to learn how to make the regular food we have been eating.
My current plan is to hang out with Krishna in the kitchen and write down what she is doing when she cooks a dish. She cooks everything from memory and is the kind of cook that - adds a little more of this or that - so it is going to be interesting. I also decided to get Bengali Cooking: Seasons and Festivalsas a primer and hopefully make a visit soon to College Street to see if there are any other English cookbooks around. More to come...
Sicily having lunch with her adopted Bengali family in the kitchen