Cookie is a relatively new term for me. I grew up calling those small, flat, crumbly, cakey, rich, dense, baked goodies “biscuit”. As it appears, outside of North America, cookies are mostly known as biscuits in the rest of the world. Whether you call these delicacies “cookie” or “biscuit”, these are special treats. I made these special semolina-coconut cookies with cardamom and rose-water for R’s pediatrician’s office during the Thanksgiving week. The cookies are great as gifts during the holiday season or anytime of the year. We packaged the cookies in a nice tray and wrapped with some ribbons before delivering as a token of love and to show gratitude for the excellent care the doctor and the staffs provide to our daughter.
I hope all of you in the US had a wonderful Thanksgiving and those outside of the US a fabulous weekend. The Monday after Thanksgiving can be a little rough for some. After an extended weekend, fabulous food, time with friends and family, trying to get back to the regular weekly routine can be difficult. Thankfully and hopefully, there were leftovers.
I am very pleased to announce that I am hosting Bake Fest #26 for the month of December. It is the month where everyone is baking cookies, cakes and many holiday favorite dishes, so everyone has something to participate. I hope most of you will take part. Vardhini of Cooks Joy has maintained the Bake Fest for almost 2 years now and is going a great job at it.
What about giving the sweet potatoes a savory treatment? Roasted until tender and slightly caramelized, then tossed in crushed red chili, sliced onions, green pepper, Parmesan cheese and some panch foron. Baked again, creating a wonderfully balanced sweet-savory, aromatic side dish. Hold on. What? Bengali aromatic five spice, panch foron, in a gratin that originated in France? Tantalizing, right?
Colorful fairs, laughter, special cultural and ceremonial festivities flourish in the country to greet the harvest season. The rural Bangladesh dresses in gold. The glitters of the newly harvested golden rice bring life to fullest and smile on every faces in Agrahayon (a.k.a Ogrohayon).
Agrahayon, which started on November 17 in the Gregorian calendar this year, is the eighth month in the Bengali calendar. The month marks the beginning of traditional harvest festival of Nabanna/Nobanno. In Bengali, Nobanno means “New Crop”. In the agro-based country Bangladesh, the main crop, rice, is harvested in the month of Agrahayon. Truly, a joyful time in the rural Bangladesh as farmers brings their livelihood home.
Highlighting another pitha of Bangladesh – moog pakon, gluten free, dairy free, protein rich fried dumplings soaked in cardamom and cinnamon infused syrup presented by Tunazzina of Twisted chef T. I came across Tunazzina through a Bangladeshi cooking Facebook group. She is sweet, thoughtful and very kind. She selflessly polices some of our creation on the internet. For more than once she identified few thieves who were using my photos and recipes with out giving any credit back to the blog or me. I am ever grateful to her for that. Let’s see which pitha she is presenting us today.
Before I started blogging, or even before I ever thought of starting a blog, I loved cooking. Naturally, this love led me to join few cooking groups on Facebook. I came across many foodies through the Facebook group and Khadiza stood out from out of the 10k+ members. Her recipes are authentic, flavorful and delicious. Her personality is humble and helpful. Couple years ago she started her own Facebook cooking group and it is one of the most successful cooking groups for Bangladeshis. Recently, Khadiza started her own blog, Khadiza’s Kitchen featuring mouthwatering, authentic, Bangladeshi cuisine.
Dal, daal, dahl whatever you call it, it is just too good of a food engineered by nature. Dal is a generic word used in the Indian subcontinent to describe the preparation of various dried pulses such as lentil, peas, mung bean, and other dried beans. Dal is like an empty canvas and you build on according to your choice and taste. With just few spices or just salt, onion and garlic, dal never fails to provide consolation or a feeling of well-being, a comfort food at its best.
Bakarkhani(also called Bakorkhani, Bakharkhoni) breads are legendary and have been in existence in Dhaka from around the middle of eighteenth century. A legendary, sad love story between Aga Bakar and Khani Begum inspired the naming of the bread. Baked in a large tandoor oven(earthen oven) the bakarkhani is puff pastry like layered, thin, crisp bread. Best served during tea time or breakfast, the Bakarkhani melts in the mouth in each bite. The bread is also served with kababs often.