A Finely Chopped Sunday

Today was a Finely Chopped day in the truest sense.

We had friends over whom I had met through the net, some through foodie communities on Orkut and others through this blog. The only one whom we knew in the 'real' world has a Mom who cooks great prawn masala and crab curry. Today he introduced to me a delight called Aamrakhand which is a mango shreekhand where the taste of the mango is fresher and sharper than the usual synthetic ones.

I was up at 7.30 AM, unusual for a Sunday. Decided to begin cooking at 8.30 AM powered by yogurt and muesli. The kosha mangsho was almost done before K woke up. Then Banu arrived to finely chop my veggies and fry the fish while I cooked.

My first attempt at doi maach, rohu in a yogurt sauce, was a disaster as the curd curdled. A call to an old friend, now at Gurgaon, got me her recipe and inspiration and hope to try again. The result was fantastic. More soon on how I cracked the doi maach code.

The next two dishes which I made simultaneously were bheja (goat's brain) masala, a Mumbai Muslim dish, and a mushroom and bell pepper stir fry with herbs for our only vegetarian. I had to keep a special eye on the ladles to see that the organ buster and the pure, no animal killed, dishes didn't mix. Both turned out to be quite popular and the bheja eaters dipped into the mushroom too.

Final round was pulao. Steamed rice, layered with a mix of ghee, milk saffron and garam masala just before serving.

Lunch was ready by about 1220, well before our normal breakfast time on Sunday, and way before our guests arrived.

Chatter, laughter, beer, juices, chips, hungry cries, reheating, stories of courtships, opinions on cities, animated discussions on 'our generation' versus today's, pleasant memories of food, recipes shared, backaches forgotten ... a peaceful easy feeling.

We were showered with gifts ... mishti from Calcutta, mishti doi from Mumbai, Vestal Virgin Aamrakhand, Ferero delights twice over, lovely flowers. The lone vegetarian and non Bengali who didn't chicken out, showed up bravely and got into the spirit of things. The one who braved a bad cold to come. All who gave up their Sunday naps for us. And, best of all, effusive praise from folks who really love their food, know their food and cook great food. Guys you made me a happy man.

The afternoon ended just before dinner when our last guest played some of his own compositions just for K and me. Most of them I am sure will be Bollywood hits very soon. I will remember this evening when these songs play on the F M hit parades.

So five dishes, house managed by the missus, million veggies chopped by Banu, a friend who came to the rescue when things were going wrong, those who broke bread with us, and an old school friend who sent a very, very flattering mail on Facebook from another continent on the blog later in the day.

Yeah. Sundays should be like this.

P S recipes of doi maachh and mushrooms coming up soon


spice and more said…
Looks fantastic (those pictures are making me hungry!)...can't wait until it is my turn... :)
Harshad said…
Was a privilege to be a part of it all, oh master chef! :) May you be the creator of many more memorable times of breaking bread and making merry.. Amen! :)
lovely post on friends and food... I love that food and friends bit... Great looking dishes - that kosha mangsho and doi mach look amazing...
Soumik said…
The Bheja is quite simply the best i have had. Partially to do with the excesses our palates are used to so when a delicate VVS Laxman-ish touch makes us realise the subtlety of it all...it's truly ethereal.
The Rui was stunning too... as were the lovely veggies but i guess when mutton is magnificently done to the point where the bones willingly brittle up to the gourmet's desire, and slightly sharred filaments of the meat, you know there can be only one winner.
RJ said…
Man, you really are the king of good times!! Cheers,
Sharmila said…
I beat in a wee bit of besan in the doi ... never curdles. :-)
With a spread like that, what else would people have other than a wonderful time. :-)
The only place where I used to get great kosha mangsho here just closed shop. :-(
k said…
The compliments for the exquisite talent of buying paav and brown bread, to be passed this way please:):)
Kalyan Karmakar said…
And the gifts continue, Kirti thanks for the post on your blog http://blog.feastguru.com/index.php/foodie-blogs/viewpost/61.html

At the risk of sounding like an Archies card, didn't seem like we had guests over. And this Linked Within feature is so fantastic. Linked this one to my posts on two real big hosts - Mamma and my Dad. Just up their street

Harshad hope we have managed to wake you up from your cryogenic freeze. I don't often say this but light and vegetarian food can be made tasty too. And next time, will stuff will keep a frozen yogurt for you :)

Gosh Soumik, why did you stop food writing? That was fantastic. But then your G G score is still playing in my head. I really admire people who can create music.

K, the sweets you picked up were very good. Don't underestimate the importance of meeting the brief. Where would Charlie be without his Angels?

Spice and more/ A ... all stations rready, really looking forward to have you guys over next weekend. Welcome to India

Somoo, is it good form to praise one's own cooking :) But was thrilled to see folks enjoy the food so much and especially the doi maach since round one was a disaster

RJ, thanks :)

Sharmila, that's a useful tip. Should have asked you when I sat down flummoxed after round one. Don't worry about kosha mangsho, why do you think the Expressway was built. You guys should come over on Sat to join Spice and more. Seriously.
Anonymous said…
Such a grand meal!!! Absolutely delectable!!! Pls send some to Calcutta the next time you prepare these stuff :P...What a Sunday! Reallyyyy.....:-)
Kalyan Karmakar said…
Thanks Arundhuti...I guess we bongs have to work hard outside Cal as we are cut off from our Mom's cookings, Kewpies, rolls, phuchka, fish a la diana and biriyani

'What a Sunday'... really sums it up. I was down with a bad back. Just didn't feel it yesterday :)
The food looks sooo good and flavorful! Ah, please pelase cook for me.

If I was just rich, I would pay for your ticket just so you can cook for me, heheh.

Thanks for sharing!
Miri said…
Seems like such a wonderful evening!!! And the food is to die for - lucky guests!

BTW, love the blue sheer curtains!!:)
Kalyan Karmakar said…
Hey A & A, thanks. Just hop onto the flight and I'll begin cooking :)

Thanks Miri. The blue curtains are my wife's touch I must say. I thought curtains should be opaque. apparently not