Sunday, 13 November 2011

Kucho Nimki / Flour Fritters

This post will be morbid ...  I need emotional catharsis.
If you don't want to brood, stay away.

Things have been happening in my life.
A lot more and a lot quickly than I'd ever wanted.
After months of suffering ill health and a trauma, I thought a lot of rest will heal me ... 
both physically and emotionally.
But no, nyet, nada.
The days I came back from home after the surgeries to this city, I saw my cousin sister ill.
Very ill.
In the ICU.
The whole family and friends came down.
I was surrounded with people ... way too many people.
And in that hustle and bustle I saw a quivering life slowly ebb away.
Very quietly.

N didi is ... was ... my second cousin.
And has been ... I still can't talk of her in the past tense ... in this city almost the same many years
that I've been.
I came as a student.
She came with her husband's job.
And her home was my haven from college and hostel.
Almost every weekend was spent at her place.
I want to eat non veg, I want my clothes washed and ironed, I just want to be with family ... 
I am at N didi's.
Even my friends loved to be at her place ... getting pampered with wonderful food and love. 

 She had never let it be known that she has been ill.
A diabetic, she has always been careless with her health.
And nobody around her bothered to be strict with her ... except for a casual criticism.
N didi would always laugh that away.
The last 2 years her health started to decline rapidly.
And I got to witness the kind of suffering the human body has to go through if not taken care of properly.
And after 2 excruciating months in the ICU, she passed away.
Quietly, painfully.
Leaving behind a void in her home, that is being futilely tried to be filled with her laughing photographs.

 N didi loved food. Loved to eat. And to cook and feed.
Her last lines to me, before they shut her up with the ventilator pipe down her throat, were ... 
"Amar jonne ektu patla patla luchi ar aloor torkari anbi?"
("Will you get some soft luchi and aloo ki sabzi for me?")
Inspite of my numerous requests, the docs did not allow.
And I still have not been able to eat luchi till date.

I do not know why I wanted to write about N didi here.
It is not only about emotional purging.
I had learnt a lot of the ways of cooking from her.
She never taught me how to cook, or ever discuss a recipe with me.
But she cooked beautifully.
And always answered my questions with patience.
That is ... if I asked, she taught me. Never ever tried to force me into the kitchen.

After I got married, N didi was just the person to call up when stuck in the kitchen.
She never gave me recipes, but always guided me through disasters.
When a phoron burnt, when the cooker refused to behave, when there was too much salt in a dish ....
also when I couldn't handle a maid ...
it was she who rescued me with advice.

It was she who taught me to make Rosogollas.
And yet, except a fleeting mention here, I do not think I've ever thanked her.
And she never expected me to.

This Durga Puja was celebrated by the family with a heavy heart. The only consolation we fell back on was 
N didi is pain free at last.

After coming back from my trip home, I tried to keep myself busy.
I tried to do house work, cook, laugh, go on trips, made FB my second home ...
... anything to get those painful days out of my mind.
And I tried to keep up with tradition.

Made some sweets and these salty Kucho Nimkis for Bijoya.


Maida / Refined flour - 1 big sized cup
Cooking oil - 2 tbsp
Kalonji - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Water - to knead
Cooking oil - to deep fry
I did not use any baking powder or soda ... you can if you want to.

How to

Knead everything into a firm dough. Do not make it too soft.
Roll out thick rotis and cut them diagonally both ways to get the diamond shaped pieces.
Heat the cooking oil in a cast iron or heavy bottomed kadahi.
Deep fry the nimkis in batches.
Remove on a kitchen towel or paper napkins to remove excess oil.
Cool and store in air tight containers.

Try to remove them just as they are turning just golden brown ... if you wait for too long, they'll turn dark.

Serve with a hot cup of tea.
Or traditionally ... with sweets and ghugni for Bijoya.


  1. Nice to see you back,Sharmila but a lump caught up in my throat when I read about your B didi...may her soul rest in peace wherever she is.I guess that really leaves us with the very important lesson that whatever we do,we should never be negligent about health issues - if not for ourselves, ,but for people around us who love us so.Take care.

  2. I know how it feels to have lost a loved one.Stay strong and take care

  3. My Prayers.....

    I can understand how the thought of patla luchi must have been making it tough for you...keep yourself busy and distracted as this is the one way we can help ourselves move on. N didi is definitely in a better place smiling at you :)

  4. I am sure she is in peace wherever she is, Sharmila! Take heart by remembering her when you make dishes she loved.

    The fritters are lovely and you have some really nice light in these photographs!

  5. why life is so unfair sometimes???I have been questioning this for a week. I wont say much as it will increase your worry...but am going through a similar phase and praying to God for some more time for a very special friend. take care Sharmila.

  6. Dear Sharmila:
    People like your di and the love people express makes this world go around. Express i mean in their work and in their ability to nurture. Take care.

  7. OMG, tumi sei din bolle na. Ei post ta pore-i kanna pachche Sharmila, nimki niye ar kichu likhte parlam na tai.
    Tumi bhalo theko, strong theko, N's family needs you more ate these times.

  8. Thank you everyone for your kind words. I had no intention of upsetting you all with this post ... I just needed to vent. Felt a lot lighter after sharing this ... so thanks again.

    Sudha ... so true. Thanks.

    Sumi ... thanks.

    Sangeeta ... that she is in a better place is the only consolation. Thanks.

    Harini ... somebody suggested that I make her fav dishes, especially the luchi and feed some destitute. Thanks.

    Sayantani ... I hope your prayers are answered. You stay strong too. Thanks.

    Usha ... thanks.

    Sandeepa ... almost 3 months hoye gelo ... onek try korlam, kichu tei mon theke baar korte parchilam na. Wrote this for selfish reasons ... onekta halka lagche. Please mon kharap koro na. And thanks.

  9. So so sorry to read this Sharmila. Satti khub kharab lagche... strong thako. Hugs.

  10. Sharmila.. sending you hugs, lots of hugs. I don't know what to say. and I know there are no words to console a loss like this. amar gola bondho hoye ashchey.. Sharmila.. don;t try to get over it..don't fight your feelings. It will take a long time. But do remember that she is somewhere, and with you when you think of her.

  11. Can understand how u must be feeling ,take care dear

  12. Tina ... thanks.

    Mandira & Soma .. thanks a lot. I did not mean to upset you good people but I really wanted to share my pain.

    Soma ... I guess that will be right ... let it go on its own.

    Priyanka ... thanks girl.

  13. Long time since I had these :-)

  14. Very bad to hear but thanks for sharing this recipe


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