Because I have always cooked. In my mind. In my head. Ever since I was five and told my mother I wanted my eggs poached in WATER rather than in BUTTER, and watched her cringe because it was harder for her to get the thing right. I have cooked in my head ever since I got hold of my first recipe book at the ripe old age of seven, and proceeded to learn it by heart (I still remember you, Better Homes and Gardens, 1986 Ed. Cajun Cooking) and then drove my newly-home-from-abroad aunt crazy by asking about all the ingredients I did not know about. My next book was Lila Majumdar’s Rannar Boi  which was in fact the reason why I picked the locks to the kitchen and decided to cook on my own. I was nine. Going on ten.

Nowadays, people choose to call me a mall-rat and resident kitchen goddess in the same note, disdain dripping from charming lips that twist my love for good French fries into something else altogether. I can confess to be the fan of Diet Coke, French Fries AND Mars Bars (Not to mention Dutch Process Cocoa from Hershey’s). But then again, in my negligible meets she notes nothing more than that. I personally believe that in India, cooking a batch of fries from scratch is whole lot more work than you are supposed to do, and a whole lot of oil to waste in the kitchen.

Also, the friend “FORGOT” to mention the fact that she actually had dragged me around the town to buy Tee shirts and asked me if she could get good quality Mayo, Sausages, Gouda/Cheddar or Pepper Jack Cheese. Wow. And I’m supposed to be the consumerist here, as she told me, and after a few seconds… “oh God, they put salt on those fries. Ummm” (and made little mewling orgasmic noises).

Now, I detest hypocrites. And she is one of them for telling the world how much better her fries are, without me sampling them. After all, HER opinion about the fries that SHE cooked was “BETTER”. Darling Rimi, don’t you know, when you cook it yourself, it always tastes better?

You should have unbiased opinions. I willingly volunteer. Bring out the food. Feed us. Because the only person you feed through your blog is you, unlike me, who cook up and distribute.

Now, back to the egg.

As I said, I detest waste, and I really detest a mess in the kitchen. Remember the poached egg? Well, done right, they are the best damned things on earth. Done wrong, they would stick to the utensil you were cooking it in, scorch and refuse to be lifted from the pan. I know it all, because I have seen it happen. And to prevent it, thousands of things are done. For example:

1. Add Vinegar.
2. Add Salt.
3. Use Fresh Eggs.
4. Make sure water is at a steady simmer (whoa?)
5. Other helpful hints I have received from thousands of different places.

So. What to do? How to NOT make a mess or waste in the kitchen?

Here’s an easy solution. And it comes in the form of a single bowl. A thick, glass bowl, preferably round.


1. Bring a pot of water to boil. Salt the water, purely for the taste thing. I adore slightly salty poached egg, not bland bits of nothing that cannot hold its texture up to a dash of pepper. Put in your thick glass bowl (or more if you want to cook more eggs) inside the pan, and make sure the water level is about 1/2 an inch over the eggs.

2. Crack an egg inside each cup. Your gas should be at medium-high, and you would immediately see the egg take shape inside the water.

3. Turn down the heat to a simmer and let the egg cook to desired done-ness. I like three minutes for a really soft boil, 4 for not so soft and 6 for nearly cooked through.

4. To remove the eggs from the pan, just lift the cup out and use a slotted spoon to transfer the eggs to your plate.


The way Baba likes it.

The way I like it. 

Written by Poorna Banerjee

    No Comments

  1. pavani reddy 2012-04-23 at 7:55 am Reply

    nice cute post poorna…u have gr8 blog..nice pics

  2. panu 2011-05-05 at 12:55 am Reply

    go for it!

  3. joychaser 2011-05-04 at 9:13 pm Reply

    ei bah, there are other 'real' food blogs in existence! ki moja. i will now go through your archives and find things to make that aren't too difficult for my lack of culinary skillz. starting with that flourless chocolate torte, which sounds very similar to one that a local cafe makes. 🙂

  4. panu 2011-05-03 at 5:31 pm Reply

    @ saptarshi – XD.

  5. saptarshi 2011-05-03 at 2:23 pm Reply

    To start with, I think it is laughable to even discuss why you are a better cook and have a better understanding/knowledge of food. I do not think anyone has the faintest doubt about that. So I will not talk about it.

    Rimi's blog, I have always believed, appeals to readers who cook to survive – for non-cooks – for people who have never felt the need to cook when they were in the comfortable confines of their home/family and had to take up proper cooking only when they had to.

    Comparing that to cooking – the art form, the religion – is unfair. It is like comparing English Language Training Manuals with real work of literature. It is not a question of inferiority or superiority. It is a question of purpose, and of, how shall I put it delicately, the receptacle.

    You are a mall rat. And that is not a bad thing. The only true mall in Calcutta is certainly Hogg's Market. And you know the ins and outs of it like a rat does. You also know how to source your less easily available ingredients from the new malls (read South City Mall) if required. I can see nothing but prudent use of resources in this.

    Be as you are.

  6. panu 2011-05-03 at 11:09 am Reply

    Yes, well, I have been called a mall rat. It was that insult which brought me to a bursting point.

  7. Insiya 2011-05-03 at 2:47 am Reply

    I don't know anyone who knows their way around New Market better than you do.

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