Whenever I receive a book for review I become super-excited, specially if it is a cookbook, I get extremely happy. As soon as I collect it from my letter-box, the first thing that I do is to read the last page,i.e. the back of the book. When I was going through it, I came to know that the author Sandeepa Mukherjee Datta is a food blogger. She is a Bengali and is a mother of two and she believes in retaining her family traditions. This book with lots of delicacies has recipes and journey from Sandeepa’s Kitchen in North Calcutta to her home in New York. She has been entertaining her readers for over six years, and is the go-to for Bengali cooking on the web. An engineer by profession,she lives with her family in New Jersey, USA. This is her first cookbook which is based on themes from her blog.( www.bongcookbook.com)
This book is much different from any other cookbooks which has only recipes. This book is based on her blog. It has a lot of heart warming anecdotes which makes reading this book fun. While reading this book a person actually feels that he/she is present in a typical Bengali family. You can learn to make your own paanch-phoron, which is a classic Bengali spice blend typically consisting of five spices in equal measures. It is used in most of Bengali and Odiya cuisines.
After reading this book,I learnt that Bengalis are those people who can eat rice and dal for breakfast too. There are also Bengali Bramhins like us the Goan Bramhins who eat fish unlike any other Bramhins in India. I also found that Bengalis style of cooking fish is also much different then our style. A person can know a lot about Bengali culture just by reading this book which is supposed to be a cookbook 🙂
A Bengali cookbook was actually missing in my kitchen. I had never tried any Bengali recipes before. I learnt that Bengali’s use mustard oil in cooking, probably that is because of the region they live in. I enjoyed reading the book and the author’s experiences in kitchen.
Only time when I was getting interrupted was when I felt like eating some of the recipes which Sandeepa has mentioned. I wish they would come straight out of the book and get served on the table and I would get to eat them then and there!
All the recipes are explained in a simple and easy way. Some Bengali recipe names like chorchori, posto, ghonto, etc are something which caught my attention and I wanna try them soon. Only thing is that there are no pictures of food. I wish they were there, it would help non-bong’s like me to exactly know how the food looks like after cooking it. I wish a proper index with recipes was mentioned. Without an index it becomes difficult to find out exactly on which page a particular recipe lies.
On the whole, I would recommend this book to any person who would like to know more about the Bengali cuisine and culture.
Publisher – Harper Collins.
Price – Rs.350/-
Thanks to Indiblogger for sending me this cookbook for a review.
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