I yearn for something feisty this morning.
Tear-jerking spicy yet sinfully enticing.
Grey foggy winter having made a hushed exit, the kitchen this morning does not quite look the same as I look around for ideas.
The sun no longer casts silhouettes on the white-washed kitchen wall.
And I miss the theatrics and the innocent mischief of the infant sun.
My eyes land on the banana leaves resting patiently on the kitchen counter. Under the shroud of a moist red cloth.
A Paturi may be, to satiate my craving for something wicked ?
I run through the list of usual suspects.
Lonka bhapa murgi ? Chicken steamed with chillies three ways – green chilli paste, chilli pickle and chilli pickle oil.
No, Sundays are for cryptic crosswords, childhood comics and chicken curry. A ritual I am a slave to. At least when I am home.
Chhanar Paturi perhaps ? Homemade chhana caressed with the sweetness of grated coconut and the piquant zing of mustard ?
I could. But too lazy to make chhana this time-stops-still morning.
Calvin and Hobbes and cups of Darjeeling have been my company since morning. And I am reluctant to part ways just as yet.
Grandma’s bandhakopir paturi then ? Simple and fuss-free. Her ingenious trick to make Dada and me eat cabbage when we claimed we were bored with bandhakopir ghonto.
And that sublime delight letting the heady aroma of mustard play with our olfactory nerves as Dada and I would struggle with the twine securing the paturi parcels !!!
So that’s it for lunch this morning – Bandhakopir Paturi.
Finely shredded cabbage and a handful of frivolous peas. Smothered in a fiendish mustard posto paste. Sobered by that touch of ground aromatic gobindobhog rice. Drizzled luxuriantly with mustard oil. And left to cook languorously in the cocoon of banana leaf parcels.