Sunday, December 30, 2018

3 Easy and Fun Cocktails for your Year End Party

I am not much of an "alcohol-drinking" kind of person. I don't get the light-headed, happy feeling that usually a glass of drink should bring.

Instead I feel just plain sleepy after a glass of wine. My eyes get heavy and I doze off!! Plonk!
Clearly that is not what I want to do, as "dozing off" is something I can do easily even without a drink. What is the point then?

I however love cocktails -- Mojito, Margaritas, Mimosas-- good. Given a choice, I usually tell the bartender to go light on the alcohol part. Defeats the purpose you say? But works for me. I am not sleeping after that drink. And I think I might be feeling a teeny bit happier.

But it works best if the husband-man is mixing the drinks at home. He knows my limits and makes the best cocktails that I love.

Here are 3 that I am sure you will love too.

Singapore Sling

This Singapore Sling which the husband-man had made for my last book club meeting(it is his version of the drink), was a major hit.
Our town has a book club and the coordinators take great care to pair the potluck menu at those meetings with the book of the month.
So few months back we were reading #CrazyRichAsians and the menu was around Singapore. I took this cocktail and it was a major hit. It indeed is a lovely drink and heady enough to drown all sorrows!!😜
1 part Gin
2 part Pineapple Juice
Little lime juice.
1 tsp Grenadine
1 part Club Soda
Add a lime wedge

Mint Mojito

Mojito is a summer drink and since we have a huge bush of Mint growing in our backyard, we use all that fresh mint to make ours. If you can get fresh mint, it is a refreshing drink any time of the year.

10 fresh mint leaves

1/2 lime cut into 4 wedges

2 tablespoons white sugar or 2 tbsp of simple syrup.
*Make simple syrup by boiling 1 Cup of Sugar + 1 Cup of Water

1 cup ice cubes

1 1/2 fluid ounces white rum

1/2 cup club soda or Sprite


Place the mint leaves, lime wedges at the bottom of a tall glass or in a cocktail shaker. Add the sugar or simple syrup.

Muddle with a Pestle to release the mint oil and lime juice.

Fill the glass with ice.

Add the rum and top off with club soda or sprite.

Garnish with fresh mint leaves.

Limoncello Mule

I had got a bottle of Limoncello on our trip to Italy earlier this year. I have been waiting for the right time to drink it and never found the "right-time". The husband-man used it to make another amazing cocktail which will be on the drink list tomorrow.

3 oz. limoncello
3 oz. good quality vodka
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
4 oz. ginger beer

Lots of ice
lemon slices - for garnish

Fill a glass with ice.

Add the limoncello, vodka, lemon juice, to a cocktail shaker. Shake shake shake.

Pour into glass. Add Ginger Beer to the top of drinks and stir.

Garnish with Thin rinds of lime.

Here's to a happy looking back to 2018 and fizzy welcome to 2019!

If you like what you are reading, get Bong Mom's Cookbook in your mailbox
Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Roasted Cauliflower Orange -- Phulkopi Komola Roast

I recently came to know about Phulkopi Komola, a Bengali dish where Cauliflower is cooked with oranges.

I had never ever heard of such a thing before. In our middle class family, we ate KomlaLebu with beet noon on winter afternoons, sitting on the terrace, our back to the sun and a book in front. My Ma, made a Komola Lebu'r kheer on occasions that deemed such extravaganza and that Kheer was so delicious that I cannot even explain in words. Other than that, oranges were had on their own.

Well, anyway, the pairing of Cauliflower with Oranges seemed like a brilliant idea, so I thought why not? But I didn't want to cook them the traditional Phulkopi dalna (cauliflower curry) way. I wanted to roast them. Cauliflowers I roast often. But this time, I wanted to add oranges (clementines to be precise) to the roast.

So Cauliflowers, tiny potatoes, oranges, and some carrots(optional) were chopped. Tossed with some tandoori masala, olive oil, chili powder and even garlic it was a pretty dish to look at and delicious to eat.The oranges gave a tiny kick of sweetness and flavor to the cauliflowers. I added some green peas to add color to the dish and it was an excellent idea. The whole dish is pretty simple to make and the cooking time is the time for you to relax and watch Netflix.

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Bajri Pearl Millet Pancakes

The last week, I have been desperately trying to stay off carbs in my diet. Not an easy feat for aluseddho-bhaat loving Bengalis.

But I have been eating like a glutton and wanted to give the whole digestive system, a short break between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Add to that my recent woeful experience while clothes shopping in Kolkata.

I love going to stores like Pantaloons, Biba or Big Bazaar back home. Being used to departmental stores in the West, where store assistants hardly pay a glance, careful not to intrude my privacy by suggesting any opinion unless clearly asked for,  the overload of shopping assistants in the stores at the Kolkata Mall, makes me feel very special.

They are always asking "Madam, ki chai?";then suggesting designs that they profess will look good on me; if I am throwing a tantrum that nothing matches they are eager to hunt down the right color leggings for my Kurta. In general they are pretty good people, showering attention as if I am buying a 900 rupees kurta for the royal wedding.

But with every pro, comes a con. And in this case there is plenty. One of them, of course is the intrusion which I am now old enough to take in stride. I have bidden enough time standing in long queues for the public bus in my college days, with Aunties suggesting all kind of skin and hair care routine. From staying off "oily food" to some Baba's miracle ointment, I have heard it all. That has toughened my self confidence.

So we will not talk about intrusion. Instead I would like to ponder upon why size of clothes in Indian stores is a variable. It is not a constant and is always shifting. What is a M today is not a M tomorrow in the same brand. What used to be an XL is now non-existent.. Folks in Kolkata are slimming down at an alarming rate so that size S is becoming a smaller size every year.

Until 2017, I was a size M with Kurtas that I bought in India. With most US brands, I can still get into a size S! But this time back in Kolkata, I could barely breathe in even M sized Kurtas.

At the Big Bazaar, which is close to my parent's home, and so a favorite haunt, I asked one of the young nymph like store assistants, "Are you guys just becoming more thin, or why does a M not fit me anymore?"

The young girl gave me a once over and without a smile said, "Didi, try a L, that will fit you!"

And of course it did. But that is when I made up my mind to stay off carbs for a week. But only after I had polished off all the Norom paak mishti and Nolen Gur er Ice cream of course!!!

Bajri Flour or Pearl Millet flour is a very common flour in some regions of India. It is high in complex carbohydrates and a rich source of protein and dietary fiber. I therefore cheerfully bought a small pack of Bajri flour while planning the low-carb week's menu. 

However I have never had Bajri flour while growing up and I doubt if my Mother has used it even once. All I knew is this nutty coarse flour is used to make a type of thick flat bread called Bakhri, which I was not keen to make. My neighbor then suggested making a Chilla with bajri flour as it is easier to make than a Bakhri.

I took it a step further, added eggs, spices, onion, green chilies and made savory crepes instead. I had these crepes with a ground chicken keema and avocados. I really loved the robust flavor of the crepes. The kids thought it was "meh" but then they are kids, so we will ignore them. For now, I am hooked to Bajri Crepes!!!