Musician, video-blogger and singer of recipes, Sawan Dutta has won millions of Bengali hearts while laughing at them, simply because she served up lessons in cooking maachher jhol and kosha mangsho – the fish and mutton dishes that the community will die without.
This time around, she’s looking at two item numbers. The first is a spicy, tingly snack which is highly sought after at food stalls. Jhalmuri has moved out of its street beginnings in Bengal and is now served in antiseptic, semi-branded packaging. And the second is the shukto, the mixed vegetable stew which entered the Bengali kitchen with some Portuguese influence.
At this rate, Dutta could soon become the de facto cookipedia of Bengali cuisine. Who, after all, can resists her rhyming recipes, pronounced with an impeccable Bengali accent in English, her insistence on using mustard oil sourced all the way from Kolkata, and her unbeatable serving technique: “Take an old newspaper, make a paper cone, use it to serve the Jhalmuri as shown. Jhal, jhal, jhal, jhal, Jhalmuri!”