Bengali New year is heading and this time, I always feel nostalgic because I miss those wonderful days of my student life, my friends, and my teacher and above all my family. We cherish the different phases of our life. But I bet everyone will echo the same that the student life is the best time that everyone wants to get back it again and again. On this context, sharing few of my childhood memories which are engraved in my heart so deeply that every year on this very day I feel profoundly nostalgic and sad to get those days back.
I always felt exceedingly blessed when I thought that I had completed my education from Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan, a place founded by Rabindranath Tagore. The natural beauty of the place infuses its elegance through the mode of education. The freedom of creativity and ideas always evince through the various festivals celebrated on the auspicious occasions of special calendar events. During my school days, this Bengali New Year celebration used to start a week ahead. Those days are crystal clear to me. I can still visualise the little girl holding her mother’s or father’s hand heading towards the crafts shop to buy a bunch of white blank cards with full of excitement. The next few days passed within a fraction of moment with full concentration on filling the blank cards with all those imaginary creative mentation. In our school, the best part of Naba Barsho (New Year in Bengali) celebration is the exchange of these self-created cards. Each and every student used to create cards by his/her own hand and would gift it to his/her friends or would make friends by exchanging the cards. The new day becomes emblematic for inviting new friends, divulging one’s talent through the cards and a learning process of acculturation. Now coming at this age I realise the hidden truth of the festivity. But then that was only a satiated fun to amplify the friends’ group and also an exhibition of talents. Self-written short poems used to be scripted in the cards too.
Another fun of this day was to stand in a long queue in the scorching heat only to get a Kachori and two sweets. In our school premise, this snack used to be distributed to the students on this day. These most common bites used to become too tasty and sumptuous only on this very day. Now I am never going to get back those days, the tastes. Only what I have the fragrance of the sweet retention and an urge to make alive few of those memories through my daughter. My father has few of those New Year cards made by my sister and me in his collection. Sometimes I will surely share those with you all.
True Bong nature defines us as the epicureans who are head over heel in love with food. And when it comes to cleanliness Bengalis are very particular to keep their kitchen Clean to maintain the hygiene, not just looking clean and sparkling we make sure there is not a single cockroach in the kitchen. I grow up seeing my mother using Godrej LAL HIT. And I follow her steps too. It has become a ritual to use LAL HIT at least once a week to keep my Kitchen an anti-cockroach zone. Now LAL HIT even comes with deep reach nozzle, due to which I can easily spray it in places where cockroaches hide like a sink outlet, under the fridge, under the dustbin, under the cylinder etc. Say it Non Veg or Veg dishes, Bengalis will be always seen smacking there fingers and burping with utter satisfaction. I have shared most of the time Non- Veg delicacies. But this time I am going to share a Veg-Bengali Dish. Posto/ Poppyseed is one of the important ingredients and also very common in the daily meal mostly in the west Bengal cuisine. Last time I have shared Chhana Posto/Cottage Cheese with Poppy Seeds, where I got a raving feedback. Many tried it in the following days and my inbox got flooded with appreciations. I always feel like a blessed blogger when I get the feedback from my readers considering the true success of blogging. So now let us move to the recipe with out wasting much time:
Phulkopy Posto/ Cauliflower with Poppy Seeds
Cauliflower: 1 medium size
Poppy Seed - 3 tbspn heaped
Mustard Seeds- 1/2 tspn
Ginger paste: 3/4 tspn
Tomato: 1 small (Optional- See Note)
Salt & Sugar : As per taste
Mustard Oil: 4 tbspn + 1 tbspn (If needed)
Raisins: Handful Soaked (Optional)
Ghee: Few drops.
1. Cut the cauliflower in to semi small florets. Clean nicely.
2. Boil water desolving a tea spoon full salt. Pour the florets in to it and boil for 3-4mnts. Staring and reserve.
3. Soak the poppy seeds for 5-10mnts then make a smooth paste out of it.
4. Heat 4 tbspoon of oil in a Kadai or a deep dense pan. Make sure that the oil is hot enough. Add the cauliflower in small batch and fry till they turn brown. Strain the excess oil and then reserve them on a kitchen towel/Tissue. Repeat the same with the remaining batches.
5. Check how much oil is remaining the pan/Kodai. If more oil needed then add. Temper the mustard seeds till those sputter then add the tomatoes (If adding) and the ginger paste. Saute nicely till oil starts to separate. Add the cauliflower florets and mix nicely. Add the poppy seed paste and 1/2 cup water. Cook till the Cauliflower is cooked and the the juice dried up. Add the raisins and few drops of ghee. Fold gently and then take it off the flame and serve with hot rice.
1. You can add potato along with the Cauliflower. If potato is added then fry how you have fried the Cauliflower.
2. Tomato I hardly use. So I felt it tasted better without the Tomatoes.
This recipe is off to the ongoing online event: Poila Baishakh with Veg-Bengali Dishes by Kolkata Food Bloggers:
(Disclaimer: This Post is in association with Godrej LAL HIT)