Lemon Balm Cake

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We have a simple cake today with subtle and soothing flavors of lemon balm: the kind of cake one would love to have on a pleasant summer day. A good cup of tea and company is what I envision with the cake, sitting outside as the breeze makes the patches of sunlight dance in delight. A mockingbird always sings here.


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Bhindi Bhaji: Mildly Spiced Okra



It has been so long that I do not know where to start…


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Chingri Begun-er Tel Jhol: Spicy Shrimp Curry with Eggplants


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It is not always the length or the kind of ingredients that makes a recipe perfect. It is also the state of mind.  Or even how our life gets shaped. Myriads of experiences, even the ones that are forgotten, seemingly erased from memory make indelible prints somewhere unseen. Then they whisper in unison, orchestrating that “feeling”, that satisfaction of what we expect from a  perfect recipe. However this is very personal. The culture and the environment can be a thread that connects certain people to like similar things. But even after that it is a personal decision.

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Chicken with Black Pepper and Cream


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The two most important things that inspire me to cook are the memories of my childhood, especially with my ma and dida and also that sudden intuitive attraction I feel towards a particular recipe. Each of these triggers work differently. The memories are calm, stable and continues. I know it is there deep inside, offering me companionship and guidance of those who are not with me in this physical world anymore.


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Mutton Curry with Fenugreek, Coconut and Curry Leaves


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One of my maa’s recipes has been the inspiration for this recipe today. I have a distinct memory of this afternoon when I see my maa emerging out of the kitchen  holding a stainless steel container and setting it on the table. It was a mutton curry she had tried out for the very first time. It was pale with fresh green curry leaves in it: quite different from our usual bright looking Bengali mutton curries. Those few moments are so lucid that it feels I can stretch out and trace her face with my fingertips.

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