Here I want to put together some of the recipes that I have seen in my life. These are the dishes I have loved, been curious about, have grown up with.

I don't intend to position myself as a brilliant chef. I want to capture those dishes which I am afraid very few people make as well as the best samples I've eaten. With the changing ways of our lives, and cooking fading out of more and more modern urban lives, I am afraid these recipes may be my only link to some of the most wonderful things I've experienced in my life.

Each recipe will be more than just a formula for a chemical reaction. It will contain all the pieces from my memory and my life which I associate with the recipe. Food is personal. I can't relate to the TV chef's presentation of food (Jamie Oliver of course is a delightful exception). Those who find me boring and just want a good recipe will probably find my ramblings boring. That's okay with me -- am used to it. :)

I write for the amateur cook who loves food and cooking. I am not writing for the housewife who wants a formula to make an impress-the-guests dish the first time and then forget about the recipe. The former category will want to try the dish a few times, tweak things, experiment. The latter wants a pre-digested formula and doesn't want to think about what adds up to what.

I don't believe in the purist's pursuit of a recipe. I don't know whether adding Maggi Hot and Sweet Sauce to prawn malaikari makes it "not a pure Bengali recipe" because our grandmothers never had Maggi sauce to play with. I believe in making something that tastes fantastic. Remember, I made my first complex pair of speakers with plywood, not MDF -- if it makes sense to me, I cut my own path.

Enjoy the ride. :)

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