The musical ‘Bengali Aunty’ is back!
Composer and singer-songwriter Sawan Dutta has released her latest from The Metronome’s signature Recipe Song collection and this one’s hard to egg-nore.
The song vlog is an ode to deemer dalna or “Egg Curry from Bengal, loved by one and all”. We threw some fun questions at Dutta, who was sporting enough to tackle them.
My Kolkata: We’ve heard your deemer dalna recipe is so delicious, even eggs crack themselves open to jump in. What made you pick this dish?
Sawan Dutta: Hahaha! I found this particular recipe in a cookbook my late thakuma gifted me many years ago. The inspiration behind picking this dish now, though, was a Facebook post by Joy Bhattacharjya, an old friend. I thought it was high time I made a recipe song out of this.
Who tried your recipe first, and what’s your fondest memory of deemer dalna?
I’ve been making it for so many years now that I can’t quite recall who had it first. Must have been someone in my family! Deemer dalna is a favourite go-to comfort food at home… That comfortable balancing act between veg and non-veg! In recent times, I’ve had my parents and mashi thoroughly enjoy polishing off all the deemer dalna I made for shooting this video and its dry run.
Are there any variations or personal twists to the dish when you’re cooking it?
Oh yes! Ever since my husband and I switched to a heart-healthy diet some years ago, I have modified not just our deemer dalna, but all traditional recipes to heart-healthy specifications, in keeping with our cardiologist’s advice. It involves a few basic modifications — in fact my plan is to try and make a separate video of the heart-healthy version of each recipe I turn into a song, since cardiovascular diseases are the world’s number one killer, according to WHO.
What do food and music mean to you, and how did you bring these two passions together?
One sustains me physically, the other mentally! Combining the two was a purely random and casual thing, which happened while trying to find my Bengali Aunty character — something typically Bengali to sing about! That led to the Machher Jhol Vlog, and once the first one happened, I had this crazy surge of requests for more of these, from my fans and audiences.
Finally, what came first, the chicken or the egg?