A book review & a Bengali lunch

You know, it is funny how people sometimes mistake me for being a Bengali! I’m a true-blooded Mangalorean but more often that not, I’ve been asked – Are you Bengali? No I’m not. Having said that I’m also amazed how I’ve been able to understand the language so easily, yes I’ve had Bengali friends but my grasp of the language has more to do with the amount of Bengali movies that we had to watch during college! And as for the food, let’s not go there please. I’m going to drool nonstop!

So when IndiBlogger announced that they were giving out Bong Mom’s Cookbook by Sandeepa Mukherjee Datta, I knew I had to sign up for it. It was a long wait and when the book finally arrived home, I just pounced on it. Now I’ve come across Sandeepa’s blog, of the same name as the cook book, quite a few times while I was browsing online looking for some Bengali recipes and what attracted me to her space multiple times is the easy style that she’s adopted. Being a working woman and a mother of two to boot, her recipes are the kinds that require minimal amount of time in the kitchen and if there’s a shortcut, she’s happy to share it.

Now what stood out about the book is that there are no pictures at all! Save for a few illustrations, so when I leafed through the book just when I received it I was a little surprised. I mean, a cookbook with no pictures isn’t really something you would easily pick up from the bookstore, isn’t it? Anyway, so I started reading the book and Sandeepa’s captivating, humourous and sometimes nostalgic style of writing had me hooked. I could picture those elaborate after school lunches at her home, her dilemma in debating what to take to work during a potluck and those lazy Sunday mornings when all you want to do is curl up in bed! But what I really liked was her passion – not just about cooking – but also about promoting Bengali cuisine. It is inspirational to say the least.

After reading all this, there was really no way I wasn’t going to try a recipe from the book. But the question was which one of them should I make? Finally after much debating, I settled on the Aloor Dum. I wasn’t sure if I could pull of luchis too so I just kept it simple and made some puris along with this. Piping hot puris and this spicy, tangy Aloor Dum was our Sunday lunch last week.

Marinated & pan fried baby potatoes 

Since I’d marinated the baby potatoes in the spice mix the previous evening, it had absorbed all the flavours well. The gravy was a harmony of flavours and just perfect to our liking. And as all Sunday lunches go this one too ended with the customary siesta, the sign of a Sunday well spent!

Different moods of Aloor Dum!


  • Bong Mom July 12, 2013 at 2:32 am

    Thank you for the lovely review and for liking the book

  • Renuka July 12, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    You're welcome! I can't wait to try some other recipes..


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