Showing posts from January, 2012
Pizza power
The other night I went out with friends to Fire and Ice, the Italian eatery on Calcutta’s Middleton Street. By the way, you’ll have to get used to me calling the city by its old name. I belong to the recalcitrant, change-resistant old order, which is perfectly happy with ‘Kolkata’ when speaking in Bengali, but finds it downright weird to call it anything other than ‘Calcutta’ while communicating in English. Besides, I can’t bear the mauling that ‘Kolkata’ receives from the non-natives. More often than not, the sound that emanates from these bemused tongues is either Kaul-kat-ta, or at best, Kaul-kata. It’s an assault, no less, and completely destroys any illusion one might have had about being able to assert the city’s Bengali character through the name change. So I continue to use the far more democratic ‘Calcutta’. It may sound colonial to the Bong nationalist, but it’s what I call home in the English language.  Anyway, this place I was talking about -- Fire and Ice – it…
In Praise of Pulao
If you’ve stopped by to have a dekko at my blog, you’ve probably gathered that I am rather partial to pulao. Hence the name of the blog -- Hoi Pulao. It’s also my attempt at cleverness, you understand -- hoi polloi, hoi pulao – well, you get the picture. Admittedly, fragrant, ghee-soaked pulao is not something that one tends to associate with the so-called “masses”. But I firmly believe that pulao – in its infinite, glorious variety – ought to be claimed by all.  
Of course, I am what is called a bheto Bangali. I love my bhaat (rice) to go with dal, veggies or machher jhole (spicy fish stew). But I have always felt that nothing lifts rice to quite the level of sublimeness as it does when it’s mixed with some aromatic ghee. Tucking into a plate of steaming hot rice sprinkled with some golden, home-made ghee and a pinch of salt was probably the nearest thing to ecstasy that I experienced as a child. The ghee used to be stored in small ceramic jars, their mouths covere…

Overture: On A Sweet Note

Hello there! Welcome to my mad, glad, food fetishist world! Oh, no, not another food blog, did you say? Well, er, yes, I have taken my courage in both hands and am about to venture into a space that’s thick with foodies, foodo-intellectuals, food lovers and food fanatics of every hue. Can I add anything significant to this teeming broth of culinary wisdom and wit? Jump into the jaw-dropping mix and hope to stand out? Maybe. Or Maybe not. But here I am, for whatever it’s worth. For I feel that love of food is like blood: it’s meant to circulate. And what better platform to circulate it than here?

And so to the thought that finally made me shed my natural laziness and step into blogosphere. It’s really got to do with the time of the year. January is a month when I get horribly nostalgic. In Bengal, where I live -- and was born and bred -- Poush Sankranti (the last day of the month of Poush which falls around the middle of January) is considered an auspicious occasion. It is tradition…