And so Dada and I set out, one golden autumn morning, gorgeous sunshine bathing the metropolis, still crawling back to her mundane chores after a week of fun-filled festivities, scouting for what Bapi’s cousin had enthusiastically highlighted was one of the highlights of the city’s culinary scene. It’s like a pilgrimage, he had passionately narrated, sipping his tea, you can’t be in Calcutta (no, she was still not Kolkata then), exploring her food scene, and not make a trip to Golbari to dig into kosha mangsho and parathas.
And the journey, past the serene Rabindra Sarovar, the busy Kalighat temple, the fairy atop the memorial to the Empress, the greens of the Maidan, the odd tram trundling by, the cloud-kissing Shahid Minar and a lot more, was worth every bit the effort – the taste of that spicy sinful mutton in a to-drool-for gravy of caramelised onions and a melange of spices lingered on our taste buds long after we had returned to Karimganj.
Cut to the present.
When my fishmonger sends home some fresh-from-the-Bay plump Golda Chingri this mellow autumn-melting-into-winter morning, a thin veil of late autumn mist hanging in the air, the first drops of dew glistening on the blades of grass as they catch a streak of the infant sun, I am seized by nostalgia.
As memories of that morning in Kolkata decades ago come fleeting back, I decide to cook a Kosha Chingri, inspired by those unforgettable flavours of Golbari.
Kosha Chingri. Succulent jumbo prawns. A potpourri of spices. A hint of cashew paste. A kiss of poppy-seed paste. Sinfully caramelised onions.
Decadence at its best !!!
And if you are addicted to prawns as much as I am, here’s a digest of my favorite prawn recipes. Enjoy !!