A friend of mine with Extremely Good Food, Not fit for the summer at all, but great eats all the same. 

Its HOT here in Kolkata, and unlike the Nelly song, we really cannot take off all our clothes without outraging the pasher barir kakima, even in the comfort of our own home. For those who are chilling in the name of, Boo to you. But boss, amra bhishon gorom e achi, so I shall speaketh thusly of a few beautific goromkaal recipe.

And yes, this is going to be  a short, to-the-point post. No random rambles, I swear.

Okay, Monidipa, this one is for you who asked for a simple chicken recipe that can be eaten in the heat.

Take some chicken (about 400 gms), preferably boneless. If using chicken with bones, add 100 gms and make that 500 gms please. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the pieces and let them rest for about 3-4 minutes while you heat up a tiny lug of oil (read, a tablespoon. seriously, 500 gm mangho te er kom tel deoa jabe na.) in a large saucepan or karai. Add to the oil about 10 peppercorns (maane golmorich) smashed roughly into semi-bata state, but not completely decimated), and about 100 gms of onion, chopped up. let the two of them fry a bit, and then add about 8-10 whole cloves of garlic, skins removed and NOT bashed or anything. Just plain whole. Add them with the chicken, and stir fry on medium high heat till you can see the pink of the chicken turn white, and then start turning golden. At this point, you can be a tiger and get hold of some fresh dhonepata kuchi (about a handful if you like, and you can substitute parsley for it) and add it. If you don’t have it or you don’t like dhonepata, don’t add it. Then what you can do is turn the heat to low, i.e. a simmer, and add the following: 100 gms of fresh curd, 1 teaspoon of sugar (no more, no less) and about 4-5 tablespoons of milk, beaten together with a fork or a whisk. You can add a further hint of allspice (kababchini) to this if you like, about 1/2 teaspoon, but if you don’t have it, don’t add it. Mix them in, cover the pan and cook for about 10 minutes. Chicken will be cooked in that time. Then all you need to do is check salt and sugar, if you like, and put it back on high heat so that you can give the gravy a desired consistency, from a curry to a dry-fry. You can eat this any way you like: Hot, cold, room temperature, midnight snack. I love this cold, on a slice of fat bread, with a huge amount of raw onions and cucumber on top, or as a hot gravy with rice and a huge chilli.

Next would have to be a kind of chutney. Again, this is a request recipe.

Patlaa aamer tok can be made by taking about 4-5 semi-sweet raw mango and slicing them up thinly, with their soft core not getting discarded (yes, softcore. pun.). Maane aamer sathe aamer aantio thakbe. Heat about a teaspoon of oil in a pan, and add a sprinkling of pNachforon and a single dry red chili. mix it up, add about a cup of water and 4 tablespoons of sugar and mix well till the sugar dissolves. Put in your mangoes and cover, simmer for about 15 minutes, or till the mangoes go soft. Once soft, check for sweetness. If you think you want more, add more sugar. I like mine a bit on the sour side. Then all you need to do is pour it in a non-metallic bowl, and let it cool for a day before you attack.

One of my favorite things to eat is Prawn. However, I am allergic. But it does not stop me from cooking it. I made something recently and it was greatly appreciated. This is what I did:

Took about 300 gms of de-veined and shelled prawns. Poured over the juice of one lemon (along with the zest of the lemon, shredded), a pinch of salt. Then I let about 2 tablespoons of butter (Kaichu, Do Not Faint. Yes. I said it.) melt slowly on a simmering oven, and while it was melting, I added two cloves of crushed garlic and about 1 teaspoon of chopped parsley (dhonepata works too, though parsley is incredibly good with this). Then I poured off most of the butter from the pan, then added the prawn and stir fried them to desired doneness. I like the prawns slightly golden, so I let them cook for 2 minutes per side on medium high heat. And as soon they were done, I mixed them with the lemon butter sauce and served them over freshly cooked spaghetti. Worked like a charm. I also served it over rice as well as with toast, and it went down splendidly every time.

Written by Poorna Banerjee

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