As soon as my eyes rest on the plump prawns fresh from the Bay this rain-blessed cloud-cloaked overcast Saturday morning, I know in a flash I want comfort food, something to accompany my bowl of steaming hot rice !!!
A fitful mind of mine flirts with a bouquet of options, entranced by the halcyon morning calm, interrupted only by the light drizzle caressing the earth, a soulful Vishnu Sahasranamam wafting in from I-don’t-where and the melancholy cooing of a pair of drenched doves.
And even before I revert from my reverie, I have thrown into the pressure cooker a handful of potatoes (need I remind you yet again of the love of us Bengalis for the starchy tuber ?), enough onions to instigate my lacrimal glands to a feverish overdrive, a melange of succulent tomatoes, carelessly quartered, an explosion of green chillies and a fragrant profusion of coriander leaves and shoots. And the prawns of course. Finished with a hedonistic splash of mustard oil.
Back again to the bay windows and the rains. The serene and the tranquil. MS. Kishore Kumar and Rafi. The plaintive birdsong.
Time has lost its will to run.
The rude cacophony of pressure cooker whistles and the heady aroma of prawns shake my lazy senses out of stupor. I dash to the kitchen. Turn off the gas.
My chingri batichorchori is ready. The rice can wait. I can return to the rains again.
Yes, cooking a chingri batichorchori is really that silly and simple !!! The next time you yearn for soul food, you do know what recipe to reach out for.