Guest Post: Meet Debjani Basu a Food Enthusiast with her Meatballs in Cream Sauce

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Wish you all Happy New year. I am out of the scene since a long time. Now a day I hardly get a moment to sit for me. Sigh… So I decided to make a move with a guest post – just to ensure that it might make me motivated enough to start blogging again.

I met Debjani Basu through Instagram. When and how, I could not recollect it at all. But we bumped to each other’s feed and started following right then. It is really an honour to feature her in blog. Debjani is not a food blogger, not even a food photographer. She, however, loves anything that’s remotely related to food and nutrition. Her love for food and flair for cooking was passed on to her in her genes (true to her Bengali roots). Stressful corporate job, multiple cities and about a dozen maid who cooked horribly was her story once upon a time which left a permanent damage to her mind. She suffers from a severe phobia – phobia of badly cooked food or devoid of any nutrition (she wishes there was a more formal term for it).

Debjani lives in Singapore these days with her husband of 11 years (who also happens to be her best buddy for 22 years) and a gourmet 8-year-old son who at times behaves like a miniature version of Matt Preston. She has happily bid adieu to her corporate life and likes to spend time in doing things that she always loved or things she never knew she loved. She has an Instagram account @debjani.b where she occasionally shares her journey of food, travel or any random things.

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It was pretty early in the day and I was lying on the hospital bed still somewhat drowsy from the anesthesia that was administered due to the emergency C-Section just a couple of hours back. I was ecstatic with the newly acquired status of being a mom and relieved that the 9 months of ordeal is finally over. Yes, ordeal.  My 9 months of pregnancy was nothing short of an ordeal for me as I had to take a sabbatical from work, stay at home alone on bed the whole day, prick myself with Insulin thrice a day from the very first month, curb each and every of my pregnancy food cravings and to top it all the placenta rupture and emergency C Sec. So, neither I could dig in “Ben & Jerry’s Belgian Dark Chocolate Icecream” at 3 AM (like Preity Zinta in one of the movies those days) nor could I gobble up a plate of “groom bhaat” (steaming hot rice) like all Bengali ma, thakuma, kakima, didi, boudi (mom, grandmom, aunt, sister, sister-in law respectively). To cut the long story short, I did not enjoy my pregnancy at all and was happy that finally it’s over and there are no more challenges (naïve new mom). My gynecologist who had become a very good friend by then walks in her night suit (she was woken in the middle of her sleep for my emergency C Sec) and tells me “Fun time is over Debjani. Gear up for life long Challenges now!” 

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So very true, isn’t it? Motherhood is fun but every step, every stage has its own set of challenges. It has surely been a roller coaster ride for me with my son (let’s call him Little T). It was heart wrenching as a new mother when little T had to go through rounds of blood tests at and age of 7 days. I am still haunted by the sound of him crying while the doctors were trying to insert a tube through his nose at one month of age. I vividly remember the days when I used to pick up the hungry and tired little T from daycare after work and the panic attacks he used to have every morning while we used to drop him. It was certainly not easy to receive judgmental messages from fellow moms (who were stay at home at that point) about how I lack the bond with my child and what should I do more. It was annoying to get a nasty glance from your boss and peers when I had to pick up my bag and leave at 6pm everyday (doesn’t matter if I had started my day at 8 and had not taken any smoke/tea break). It was emotionally draining and challenging few years as a mother trying to balance work and home back then.

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We have moved to a diff country now, I am a stay at home mum now (well I now get judged for being not so career oriented by the feminist lot) and little T is not so little anymore but what remained constant is the roller coaster ride called “parenthood”. “Not so little” age calls for not so little issues – bullying and peer pressure being the most common one. I fume the days when little T demands an Apple Watch or an iphone because his XYZ in his class has one (really? At 8 years) and my heart breaks the days he comes back home upset because ABC said “your skin is so brown that it looks sick”. I cringe the days he asks me “what is the meaning of the F-Word that all big boys at school use”.  I am bracing myself for the days of preteen and teen, crushes and heartbreaks, healthy competition, back stabbing and emotional uproar. I am ready to pick up myself after every fall and be there for Little T with a plate of his favorite Fennel Meatballs in Cream Sauce.

RECIPE OF MEATBALLS IN CREAM SAUCE:

Meatballs, especially these pork meatballs are my sons favorite. We make it at least once a week for dinner. I am the “best mom in the world” the days my son finds them in his lunch box. The herb and sauce combinations keeps changing as does the carbs we take it with. Sometimes it is buttered rice, sometimes spaghetti and on rare occasions silky & buttery mashed potatoes. The meatballs are baked and can be also served as an appetizer along with an herbed yogurt dip is a crowd pleaser at any party. Of all the herb and sauce combinations, the one with fennel in a cream sauce is family favorite. The meatballs can be made ahead, baked and frozen (its often done in my house) for those busy school mornings.

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MEATBALLS IN CREAM SAUCE
Print Recipe
MEATBALLS IN CREAM SAUCE
Print Recipe
Ingredients
Pork Balls
Cream Sauce
Servings:
Instructions
  1. In a small pan heat about a tea spoon of olive oil and saute the chopped onions till light brown. Set it aside to cool it.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the minced pork (or chicken), parsley, panko/breadcrumbs, egg, salt, pepper, lightly roasted &crushed fennel seeds and the cooled onions. Mix well and rest for 5-10 mins.
  3. Preheat your oven to 200 degree centigrade. I use the mode in which both top and bottom coils are heated and oven fan is on.
  4. Shape into 1-inch size meatballs (about 1.5 to 2 tablespoons). Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Arrange the meatballs and brush lightly with olive oil.
  5. Bake it in the middle rack of your oven for 15-20 minutes or until the meatballs are lightly browned and cooked through. It should not take more than 25mins in any case.
  6. Alternately you can shallow fry the meatballs in a skillet with Olive Oil turning them often to ensure it is cooked from all sides. I have also used an Appe Pan or Paniyaram Pan to cook my meatballs.
  7. Add 2 Tablespoons butter and 2 table spoon flour to a skillet and whisk it in low heat until it turns light brown. Slowly stir in the chicken stock and heavy cream and let it simmer for a minute.
  8. Toss in the Meatballs and let it simmer further. Add Worcestershire sauce and Paprika and bring to a simmer until sauce starts to thicken
  9. Add the garlic powder at this stage if using. Add Salt and pepper to taste and finish it off with the remaining 1 table spoon butter and parsley chopped/flakes. Serve it over Buttered Rice or cooked Spaghetti. It can also be served as in with a side of Mashed Potato.
Recipe Notes

The Bong in me adds a dash of sugar to finish this dish. It just balances out the flavor.

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