Motivation and Intention

I write this blog on the instigation of my friends and family who have been frustrated with the pictures of my cooking that I regularly post on orkut and facebook. I must confess that I derive immense pleasure out of displaying my cooking exploits. My husband thinks that because I am such a cooking enthusiast I should post my recipes online and encourage people to cook rather than just indulge in such narcissism. Wise thought I must admit! This blog is a means to achieve just that. As the title suggests I intend to make this Blog a meeting place for exchanging recipes. I shall post all my recipes online and I encourage you to post your favourite recipes too. You may also drop your requests for recipes and I will make sure that I try those recipes and figure out the quickest and tastiest way of preparing them.

Tour of the site

Most of my recipes are going to be traditional Indian and Bengali recipes. I am also going to include some Mexican, Italian, Chinese and American recipes all included in the International section. There is also a section for dieters (coming up shortly). I have tried to make dieting more enjoyable; no I mean really enjoyable! There is a quick and easy section which lists recipes that take less than five minutes to prepare and under ten minutes to cook. In short, there is no reason why you should not start cooking right away.

Getting started with Indian cooking

Indian cooking is all about spices and flavours. Therefore it is imperative that you gear up your kitchen with the essentials before getting started with serious Indian cooking. I have included a list of spices (in the order of their importance to me) that you must have for the authentic Indian taste, although not all the spices are used at once. All these spices are available at any Indian, Bangladeshi or Pakistani store. The list is long, but once bought you need not visit the spice store for another four months, assuming that you are going to cook regularly.

  • Cumin powder
  • Coriander powder
  • Garam masala powder
  • Red Chilli powder
  • Cumin seeds
  • Coriander seeds
  • Dry red chillies
  • Turmeric powder
  • Mustard seeds
  • Onion seeds
  • Cloves
  • Cinnamon
  • Green cardamom
  • Black cardamom
  • Black peppercorns
  • Fenugreek seeds
  • Dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)
  • Ginger paste
  • Garlic paste (I prefer using fresh ginger and garlic but you can go ahead and but the ready stuff, it definitely saves a lot of time)
  • Carom seeds
  • Fennel seeds
  • Poppy seeds
  • Some nuts like almonds, pistachios, walnuts (you can grab the 80 cents packets available at any grocery)
  • Keep some scraped coconut, fresh cream and yogurt handy. When buying the dairy products make sure that you buy the smallest packets if you are not likely to use them after one recipe, as these items have very short shelf life.


I prefer using stainless steel over non-stick for my Indian cooking as they transmit the heat evenly and richens the colour of the gravies and sauces. But there are certain downsides of using stainless steel. Firstly you have to be vigilant; you cannot leave your pot unattended even for a minute. Secondly you have to keep stirring continuously to ensure that the masala does not stick to the pan and burn. Lastly it is always best to cook over medium heat with stainless steel and therefore the process can be tedious most times. So if you prefer, you can go ahead and use non-stick cookware. You need a heavy griddle or pan for Indian flatbreads and tikkis, a pressure cooker for lentils and red meat, a crock pot for biriyani, pulao and stews and a heavy bottomed skillet for deep frying, roasting masalas etc.

Need Inspiration??

Do you lack the urge to cook and need some motivation to get you started? I suggest you watch these movies. If this list does not help you, I don’t know what will!!

1. Ratatouille
2. Big Night
3. Chocolat
4. Julie & Julia
5. Mostly Martha
6. No Reservations
7. Babette’s Feast
8. Christmas in Connecticut
9. It’s Complicated

Cooking or no cooking, do watch these movies.