Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Discussing Bhut Jolokia With Jay Cheshes


Bhut Jolokia (King Chilly)
I completed two years of blogging on 21st April (last month).Blogging has been a wonderful experience.I met wonderful people through it.I just never thought that i would have so many friends across the world .I take this oppurtunity to thank all my blogger friends for their constant support and encouragement.The time i was away from blogger i discovered a whole new world of non-bloggers who are interested in what my room tells about North East India.Jay Cheshes is one such person.This post is not about me ,Jay or Indian hospitality ,it is like one of my closest friend said " is the glimpse to the bigger things great blogging can lead to ,a good example of what social networking is all about.'
Few weeks back i received a mail from him which said "I found your post online about Bhut Jolokia (written in 2009). I am an
American journalist working on a story about the peppers. I will be traveling to Guwahati on May 16th to report my piece and am looking for local contacts who might have knowledge of the area and the peppers. I thought I would touch base. Might you be available to meet with me while I'm in town?'' Jay Cheshes is an investigative reporter and food and travel writer based in New York.His work has appeared in Fortune,W,Radar ,New York Magazine and the New York Times amongst other publications.He also writes a weekely column on New York restaurants for Time Out New York.Right now he is here on a week long tour where he will travel to different parts of Assam exploring more on the subject. After few mails  we decided to have lunch together at my place this afternoon.

                                                         (Jay  reading more about Assamese Traditional Cooking )


Yesterday my husband bought few Bhut Jolokias from our local vegetable market .He also bought few other varities of chillies so that Jay can have a look .After exchanging few words as we met Jay expressed his desire to have a look at Bhut Jolokia as he had never seen it in real before.He asked if we have used it in any of the dishes we cooked for lunch.Before coming to Guwahati he travelled to Jaipur ,Agra and Delhi and had caught a stomach infection . I was aware of that so purposely avoided preparing a spicy meal.I asked him if he wants to taste it may be a chutney can be prepared, to which he agreed gladly .We talked a lot about Jolokias and also many other topics related to Assamese Cuisine.He read some of my old posts related to the topic.I showed him my post on  how Khar (organic soda) is made in most of Assamese household .After learning about its beneficial properties he wanted to taste it .Ma made an additional special Assamese Rice- Dish known as Khar Bhaat .


Jay wanted to learn more about the use of BJ in local cuisine .I mentioned the name of renowned Chef Atul Lahkar .Jay wanted to know more about him so I showed him this article A Moment With Chef Atul Lahkar  published yesterday in Fried Eye .He asked if a meeting could be arranged with the chef .I called up Pramathesh Borkotoky who is editor-in- chief   of Fried Eye . PB provided me chef's contact number .I talked to the chef and told him about Jay's purpose to visit Assam.It was very sweet of Chef Atul Lahkar to invite Jay for dinner to his restaurant 'King Chilly' .


 Finally it was time for lunch .It was a traditional Assamese meal(my mother-in-law had cooked it)  containing fish,chicken,green vegetables ,aromatic  Joha rice ,daal and chutneys.He noted down the names and ingredients of each and every dish ,took lots of pictures and notes. Jay  loved the food specially  vegetables and Khaar Bhaat .After lunch Chandan gave him a guided tour to our kitchen garden where we showed him different kinds of herbs and green vegetables used in Assamese cuisine .The tour involved plucking ,smelling and tasting few of them  . He tried  Neem leaf which is very bitter in taste.Soon after we rushed to our living room where two plates full of assorted local sweets waited for us.Jay wanted to buy some  local hand loom wear as a  gift for his designer  wife .I gave him few tips on the same .



After few minutes we said goodbye to each other as we had to rush to our work .As I write this Jay just finished having a delicious soup  (we talked over the phone few minutes back).He was served pork made with dried bamboo shoot and bhut jolokia ,pork with lai saak (a green vegetable) and Chicken made with sesame seeds .Chef Atul had cooked this chicken  dish for  famous Chef Gordon Ramsey and Ramsey had loved it.
Jay  will be  leaving for Kaziranga tomorrow and than to other parts of Upper Assam which he mentioned as' Heart of Bhut Jolokia .I wish Jay all the best for his story.

55 comments:

  1. Kavita, I am so glad you got to meet this American journalist. It is so wonderful to share knowledge about the food and culture of your area. By reading your blog, I am constantly reminded how vast and diverse India is.

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  2. That was nice of you to meet an American journalist and help him. We also learned about BJ.

    Congratulations on completing 2 years :)))

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  3. Congratulations on two years blogging! Time seems to fly sometimes, doesn't it?

    I'm so glad you got to meet the journalist, and share the diversity of your food and culture with him. How fun!

    I somehow missed your post on the bonsai - it is wonderful. Such patience is required to grow and train the bonsai, and so much time. Amazing that some of these are so old!

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  4. Congratulations!
    Loved the last two posts Kavita.

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  5. what a fun job, meeting new friends and eating your way around the world...

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  6. article updated:)

    Read, if you like follow my blog, if you don't then drop a comment:)

    Thanks and regds
    Vijay

    http://vinothcraig.blogspot.com/
    Cool Blogs

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  7. Hearty congratulations on completing 2 years of blogging!! heres wishing you plenty more!

    must have been such a wonderful experience meeting up with people interested in your type of cuisine!

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  8. Wonderful post, Kavita.
    I can't tell you how much I enjoyed it!
    And congrats on your two years of blogging!
    How happy I am to have met such a lovely person like you!

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  9. Oh, your pictures were great!

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  10. THANK YOU DR KAVITA , FOR YOU MET SUCH A NICE HUMAN ,REALLY HE IS NICE GENTLEMAN,YES KAVITA I FEEL PROUD TO SERVED HIM . HE VISIT MY RESTAURANT KING CHILLY ONLY FOR YOU , LOVE TO READ YOUR STORY ABOUT JOY CHESHES .YOU ARE A GREAT WOMAN .

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  11. you nourish us, friend!




    Aloha from Waikiki

    Comfort Spiral

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  12. Someone once said, "The spirit of good people, friendship knows no boundaries" I or me in a very nice way personally witnessed it, I'm exactly the same way as you, I met many people around the world and they are proud. Two years bloginga not much even a little bit. I wish you all the best and much heart and mind of written blogs

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  13. wow..wonderful experience..no wonder all bloggers luv u

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  14. Great keep blogging. You got to meet people across the sea by blogging. Good to know that your earlier post got him to this part of the world.

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  15. Congratulations for completing 2 years of blogging! I feel I know you for many more years now, Kavita!

    I had never known much about Assam or Nort-eastern side of India...I think many people are strangers to this side of our country. No wonder you have got friends all over the world!

    Take care!

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  16. first of all congratulations on two years ..

    and then again a congrats on meeting with Jay.

    Have you taken his web address so when he puts up his research or maybe blog about it we too can read it all :)

    Bikram's

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  17. Hearty congratulations!! 2 years is cool milestone achievement! Looking forward to many many more!
    A wonderful experience you have had! Thanks for sharing! And king chilli totally looks grand! :)

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  18. Happy blogversary !
    Your chillies look so colorful,like everything else in life,tempting,if you dont know the taste!

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  19. BJ looks fantastic, and from what I read, must taste fantastic too! Your posts are a revelation, Kavitha, because many people like me in the South, don't know much about Assamese food and culture. Enjoyed it as I would, an Assamese dinner!

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  20. How very exciting - to meet someone like this is amazing.

    Well done on 2 years of blogging, you started 3 days after me. Here's to many, many more years of happy posting.

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  21. Wonderful post. I really liked the way you have described about the culture and the variety of food. Excellent.
    Heartiest congratulations for the completion of 2 years of blogging.

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  22. Congrats on completing 2 years! :)

    I am sure he must have also appreciate the exchanges of culture and knowledge! :)

    ♡ from © tanvii.com

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  23. Congratulations Kavita :)
    And u do bring such amazing things to us! Awesome!
    Lovvvvved that green-red combo in the pics :)

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  24. As usual the Post was revealing and the pics of the chillies tempting. I remember the hot , terribly hot, "kuukie" chilly I had while travelling in Nagaland. And the Pork dish sautéed with bamboo shoots takes me back to that day in Kohima long ago.

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  25. You were very kind and generous to help Jay out this way. What a fabulous resource you were!

    Congratulations on making it to two years! Yae! That's wonderful! I'm so glad you're back.

    Neem leaf? I just read something in the paper a while ago about Neem being a mosquito repellent. You can drink it too? Wow! That makes me a bit nervous.

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  26. The menu sounds very delicious, esp. the chicek with sezame seeds:)

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  27. Thanks a lot all of you :)

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  28. Nice of you to invite the journalist and entertain him.

    Blogging does connect us to interesting people. Its a nice medium.

    Congrats on completing 2 years

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  29. congratulations for completing two years..you are one of the most wonderful persons I met through blogging :)

    Kavita, I want to research on something you do..when can we meet? :P

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  30. the way you write makes me feel as if I am present there to witness all of it. Also good to have you back blogging. Whenever I read your blog I just have one thought in my mind " Simplicity wins, and so does prevails the inner purity of heart , which you so much possess.

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  31. Congratulation on two years. I like blogging and meeting new bloggers. This is a very interesting post and I am glad you met with this American. Thank you for caring and have a nice week.

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  32. Olá, amiga!

    A culinária do seu país é famosa... muitos ingredientes exóticos, colorido atraente... temperos saborosos.

    Beijinhos.

    °º♫
    °º✿ Brasil
    º° ✿✿♥ ♫° ·.

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  33. Kavita,

    First visit to your space. Got your link from your comment at blogger I visit often. Enjoyed reading all current posts which I found very informative. Hope Jay could find material what he was looking for. Beautiful photographs, loved those of bonsai and hunger pangs struck me on seeing such delicious dishes. Our son was born in Shillong. Now we are in Delhi for last more than 25 years.

    Take care

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  34. Nice weekend to you and your family, I wish to you peace and good.

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  35. That's just a greta story.. Dont you love blogging?? :))

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  36. Awesome!
    It was nice of you to meet an American journalist and help him. That's inspirational!

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  37. back after the break ha?
    i guess i had lost track of it ...oops

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  38. I have heard a lot about this jalakia, but I am not sure if I ever tasted it, although I have been born and brought up in Assam and keep visiting my family there every now and then.

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  39. Hi Kavita, Heartiest congratulations on completing 2 years, may you have many more... It must surely have been very nice to meet us with people who are interested in your work...
    Have a great Sunday:)

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  40. Good morning, How are you? Every morning, check back here and enjoy this beautiful picture. I wish you a nice day.

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  41. Dr ji hum log ko bhi assam lunch chaayiye....:)

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  42. blogging can lead to some amazing and interesting experiences!

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  43. I love spicy food and few years back I read that the spiciest chilly in the world was in our own Assam :). Though, I never had the good fortune of cooking with BJ or tasting it, I'd love to do that some day. The hottest chilly I've tasted this far is the habanero. And, nice of you to help Jay. Not only will he have authentic recipes that he tried but fond memories too that he would take back from here.

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  44. welcome back kavita ji.Nice to read about your dishes and experience of helping the tourist journalist.That's so sweet of u:)

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  45. Thanks a lot ,all of you :)

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  46. lovely..very nice article ...keep up the good work!

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  47. Boa quinta-feira!
    Beijinhos.
    °º♫
    °º✿ Brasil
    º° ✿♥ ♫° ·.
    magiadaines.blogspot.com

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  48. wowww thats awesome :D
    it's so nice of you to help him... and feels great that people are interested in assamesse cuisine
    Congratulations on 2 yrs of blogging...

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  49. Amiga,
    Bom fim de semana!
    Beijinhos.

    °º♫
    °º✿Brasil
    º° ✿♥ ♫° ·.

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  50. Thanks a lot for your encouraging comment.

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  51. I missed this post. :(

    Congrats on your second anniversary Kavita. And on meeting up with Jay. That was nice of you to invite him over.

    You are my role model in the blogging world. An amazing person. I am so glad I met you here.

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  52. Wow..very gorgeous photos you have here. They look amazing and the pictures have their own significant stories to tell.

    And by the ways, congratulations you have gone so far in your blogging hobby.

    Hope we could keep in touch and share our respective interests in the blogosphere.
    http://www.earldoriman.blogspot.com

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