Move over Jack and Diane- Here's a little ditty about Aditi. Aditi Goswami, that is. She's the diminutive heart and soul of Calcutta Kitchens, a phenomenal one woman cooking company where taste and quality are anything but small! Aditi, born in Calucutta and raised in a house full of women - aunts, cousins, etc - was an only child, surrounded by and learning from a loving family where cooking food was not just a means to feed but more a way of life. She now lives in Fairfield County and her goods have solely been available at Farmers' Markets across Ct, NY and NJ. All that is changing with the launch of Calcutta Kitchen's product lines at the new Fairway Market in Stamford. Her fabulously flavorful sauces, vegetables, and soups are a hit wherever she purveys and there's good reason for that. All Ms. Goswami's ingredients come fresh from local farmers' markets and everything she sells is always vegetarian and most often vegan. Cooking for Aditi is much more than a job -it is an art form, it is a way of life, and it is Ayurvedic. Huh?
Indeed, explanation needed. 'Ayurveda' is from the Sanscrit meaning "the science of life" and is essentially a system of traditional medicine from the Indian sub-continent which extends its tentacles into the preparation and cooking of food. It is basically the system of combining specific herbs, spices, and vegetables, etc. to help maintain physical, mental, social, and spiritual harmony. The cleansing of toxins and the vitalizing of the body are two of the main objectives. There's the definition, here's the result:
When I met Aditi at the Westport Farmers' Market where she sells her wares on Thursdays from 10-1, I could barely get an interview. Her stand was mobbed with people clamoring for simmer sauces and soups. I'm sure I saw one lady weep when told that her Bengal Tomato Chutney was all sold out. Never fear, damsel, more Bengal Tomato next week. For now, why not try the GREEN MANGO CHUTNEY for a change? As opposed to the more common, sweet, red mangoes, Aditi uses the green for this condiment and the green are and extremely tart. Our chef blends the fruit with ginger, oil, salt an other spices to create a flavorful and lively chutney that will make any sleepy salivary glands jump to attention!
Calcutta Kitchen's best seller is the MAKHANI SIMMER SAUCE, and for good reason! This tomato based gravy is the perfect compliment with chicken, pork, shrimp, beef or veg. Just add your favorite cooked ingredient to the heated sauce and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve over rice and your meal is complete.This sauce is also great as a base for any pizza topping or as a dipping sauce. As I waited for the mobs to subside, Aditi whet my parched whistle with a delightfully refreshing sample of CAULIFLOWER SPINACH SOUP. She told me that it should be served hot but I thought it was spectacular chilled on that warm autumn day. Another soup I was privaledged to taste was the wonderfully serene CARROT SOUP. The organic carrots, savory onion, sweet butter, a dollop of honey and a pinch of spice were pureed with vegetarian broth to form a soup that could calm the seas. The SUMMER SQUASH SOUP is another big seller at all the markets and now I know why. The squash is infused with lots of fresh, aromatic cilantro, onion, olive oil, salt and other spices, and, served hot with a dollop of sour cream, would make even Dhanvantari (physician of the Gods and God of Ayurvedic medicine) proud.
Aditi seemed to notice that my soul needed some serious saving so she recommended I try the RED LENTL SOUP. The combination of ingredients in this Ayurvedic ambrosia is both refreshing and healing. Here, bulgar and mint bind with the lentil and the result is Sadhana (the pursuit of perfection). If lentil in soup form is not your thing, Aditi also makes a wonderful MUSURIC DAL, which is the fusion of red lentils, earthy kale, sweet spinach, vine-ripe tomatoes and onion. Dip your favorite bread, (Wave Hill happens to be mine and is sold just a few stalls away at the Westport market) in some MUSURIC DAL and watch your worries fade away. Another great side dish is the CHOLE or CHICK PEAS. These fabulous legumes combined with the perfect amount of oil, ginger, tomato, onion and a bit of a spicy kick will partner exquisitely with the other sauces on your plate and soak up any of the ambrosia that your bread leaves behind. Yum.
This is Aditi's first time in the business of food. She is a business planner as well as a realtor by trade and started selling her cooking because her friends kept telling her to try. She loves interacting with people and the markets provide the perfect scenario. Although asked all the time about cooking classes and catering gigs, Aditi continues to politely decline. She is willing to cater small dinner parties of no more than 8-10 people, but would do that based on her time and availability. She cooks out of a kitchen in Norwalk but it is not a store front. Aditi is as wonderful as her wares and if you need to ask her any questions about her products, the best place to reach her is at a Farmer's Market near you. Or you can call her at Calcutta Kitchens 203-434 -2317, check out the website at calcuttakitchens.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out the Calcutta Kitchens stall when you visit the market. Your spirit, your body, and most of all your tongue will thank you!