The Marchant of Happiness


Sending some love, hugs and sugar cubes to sweetheart  and darling for nominating me on Liebster Blog Award. Thank you and I accept the award with honor and pleasure. Rules: 1. Thank and link to the blogger who gave you the award. 2. Copy and paste the award in your post. 3. Pick 5 other blogs with less than 200 followers to award. Leave a comment on their blog to let them know about their nominations. My nominees:



Dedicating a bunch of sunshiny cookies and tea to darling Ada of, and amazing  for giving me Versatile blogger award. Thank you! Rules:  1. Display the Award Certificate on your blog. 2. Link back to the person who nominated you. 3. Present 15 awards to 15 deserving bloggers.



The prettiest Hibiscus from my garden goes to my sweetheart Angie of  for nominating me on The Shine On Award. Thanks a million! Rules: 1. Visit and thank the blogger who nominated you. 2. Acknowledge that blogger on your blog, and link back. 3. Share seven random, interesting things about yourself. (I’m a good listener, I live outrageously simple, my husband is my best friend, love sightseeing, I don’t watch TV-movies, I try to stay away from worldly-material temptations, I smile a lot)  4. Nominate up to 15 bloggers for the ‘Shine On’ Award, provide a link to their blogs in your post, and notify them on their blogs. I nominate for both above Award:


– Thank you all, for being a source of beauty, creativity and positiveness ♥ Delighted to have you all in my life ♥



Wrinkled, crippled, thin and heavy with the burden of her loneliness, she remained afloat instead of sinking. But at a point, her old, feeble limbs and bones couldn’t hold her existence anymore; she tottered and fell. Norma, my neighbor, caught the smell of her own death but decided to live and built herself a herb-garden. The Phoenix was back on her wings again!

I could see through my widow her back-braking hard work in the heat and rain, turned the front yard, with peace hung heavy all over, into an oasis. She turned barren dirt, dust and black rocks into gold that sings soothing, somber hymn when the days grow dim. I love sucking up lungful of breaths of that growth, beauty and green.



Her garden is more like a shrine, glistening graceful halos, hosted by a merchant of happiness; like a dreamscape built of eternal sunshine, an ancient fantasy.

She helped me growing wild, purple Bean clusters, lush and brazen, smudging smoky-green hue on the fence with an ecstatic protectiveness.

Bean plant

She taught me how to fortify the fortress, my garden, with a never-ending infatuation.

Bean in a bucket.

The smell of wood smoke from her kitchen, warm and moist, has been sending the song through my chimney everyday  which I have been trying to sing for years.


Shrimp Curry copyright

One sizzling summer high noon, when the sun climbed higher in the sultry sky, breathless, I  stopped in her spotless home upon her invitation. Instantly I was draped by the twirling, swirling scent of  deep, ancient, mythical Shrimp curry and steamed rice. The smack of aroma came through so vividly that my frigid soul came alive instantly.

Rooted in nature, it looked ordinary but went extraordinary as I took my first bite unleashing a universe of exuberant fragrance. Lovely austerity of the white-greenish curry levitated my heavy self immediately. Cheerful Shrimps were heightened with a touch of bare minimum spices. Half-melted onion sauce and fresh, smooth coconut paste were clinging to the shrimps with a penetrating soft sweetness.

The most beautiful ‘Tastemaker’ in the world with a spiral braid swinging at her back with Hibiscus tucked in, created hypnotizing alchemy in the pan. She made a meal that taste like a poem ♥

Recipe doesn’t belong to a labor-intensive or rule-braking repertoire. It is rather quite relaxed:

1 medium onion/shallot – paste

Garlic paste – 1 tbsp

Ginger paste – ½ tbsp

1-2 green chilies – paste

Salt to taste

Vegetable/olive oil 3 tbsp

Coconut milk – 1 cup

Shrimps 1 lb (10-12 large pieces, cleaned)

Saute first seven ingredients adding ½ cup warm water. Let it slowly evaporate until it had shrunk to a dense, caramelized gravy. about 10 minutes. Add shrimps and coconut milk. Cover. Cook for 7/8 minutes. Serve with rice.


Shrimp white curry 2

Happy 98th Birthday, Norma, The Merchant of Happiness! Thank you for allowing me to touch the dreams everyday you have sown in your precious garden.

153 Comments on “The Marchant of Happiness

  1. এই সাইটে ঢুকলেই মনে হয় পৃথিবীতে শান্তি বিরাজ করেছে। গুড জব।

    • অনেক অনেক ধন্যবাদ, ভাইয়া, এত সুন্দর একটা মন্তব্যের জন্য। শুভেচ্ছা।

  2. Congrats on the awards! And thanks for such a terrific post. Good writing, good photos, good recipe = bliss! Thanks so much.

  3. ” I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
    what wealth the show to me had brought:
    For oft, when on my couch I lie
    In vacant or in pensive mood,
    They flash upon that inward eye
    Which is the bliss of solitude; …. “( The Daffodils by William Wordsworth ).

    What else can I say more ? Keep it up. Wonderful page !!!

  4. আপু তোমার প্রতিটা কাজেই সুন্দর মনের প্রতিচ্ছবি ! হোক সে লেখা , ছবিতোলা,রান্না অথবা বাগান করা !! একটা মানুষের এত গুন কিভাবে !!! মাশাআল্লাহ খুবই অনুকরণীয় এবং অনুপ্রেরনাময় তোমার উপস্থিতি 🙂

    • এই সব কি বলো তুমি পাব্লিক ফোরামে?! লজ্জায় মরে যাই! এত সুন্দর করে কথা বলো তুমি, মন-প্রাণ এক্কেবারে ভরে যায়। অনেক অনেক আদর আর শুভেচ্ছা নিও, পাখি মনি 🙂

  5. Love to read your post and your photographs of dishes are “torturous”:P I decided I wanted to say that, because your dishes make me hungry and crave for the dish and there is no way I can get it since you live miles away and the only two options for me would either be to go to a restaurant or cook it myself:( I simply love the enthusiasm you write these posts with and the pictures you post says it all:)
    Thank you for sharing your recipes:)

    • You are such a mindful observer 🙂 It’s always a pleasure to have you come by, dearie 🙂 You’ve boosted up my confidence and positive energies. Thank you. Hugs.

  6. Such a beautiful expression, I am really fascinated…..It is simply a beautifully poetry of food……Congrats.

  7. Congratulations on all the awards–you deserve them all! And thank you so much for the nomination 😀
    As always, you post such beautiful photos! This dish looks delicious and gorgeous!

  8. wow, such a beautiful blog about food, this also represent the shadow of Asian recipe Which has created an wonderful Circumstance.oh , Your Photography : Like “Born to Click”, Speechless Snaps & Processing , Everything Makes a Nice & Lovely Hungry Environment.i wold like to share with u a TOP SECRET , I’m Really Fan of Yours.Carry on & give us more surprise.

    • Thank you, dear fan, for making my day with that super sweet compliment 🙂 In love with that expression “Born to click” . How sweet of you! Many thanks for taking time in visiting the post 🙂

    • I always try to, but she is very forgetful…because of her age, you know what I mean. And I have to introduce myself to her everyday and everyday she would make friends with me 🙂
      Lovely to see you here on my blog, Your Excellency 🙂

  9. Congratulations!!! You are so deserving of these awards – you and your blog are such a delight! Beautiful post as usual! And I’m touched that you nominated me for an award. I really, really appreciate it! Thank you. Celeste 🙂

    • Your versatile blog always send me positive, deep thoughts. Your blog provides food for my soul. How can I not nominate you for an award? 🙂
      Thanks for spending some time here with me, sweetheart Celeste. Hugs and love.

  10. Congrats..Appi u r actually made for this kind of works i believe..:)..all of ur Photographs and recipes are Awesome..:) wishes always..:)

  11. কথা তো নয় যেন গানের লিরিক্স, এতো সুইট তুমি, তোমার মত কারো সাথে বন্ধুত্ত ভাবতেই গর্ব লাগে। অনেক অনেক শুভ কামনা আর ভালোবাসা তোমার জন্য ❤ , প্রতিটি আইটেম, পিকচার এর জন্য অনেক অনেক ধন্যবাদ, শুভেচ্ছা।

    • আমার অনেক সৌভাগ্য যে তোমার তো মুক্তমনা, সুন্দর একজন বন্ধু আমার জীবনে আছে। সময় নিয়ে ব্লগে আসার জন্য অনেক কৃতজ্ঞতা। শুভেচ্ছা, ভালবাসা নিও।

  12. Congrats on all the beautiful awards you have received. well deserved. someday i’ll try this simple but gorgeous recipe 🙂
    its difficult to keep my eyes off the plate -_-

    • Thank you, little darling! Try the recipe, as you can see, its easy and quick.
      Loads of love for leaving a gorgeous comment 🙂

  13. Oh my! Its just a pure heaven! The last couple of pictures was new to me as I did not see those in Facebook.

    I used to have a neighbor like Mrs. Norma, she was not long-lived like her, but she had an extraordinary garden and the enormousness of her garden was sublime. Every morning I used to see her sown in the garden with her cute little dog Arigon and a slight smile on her face that would made my day.

    Rachel, my neighbor, died in her sleep at the age of only 67. Mrs. Norma reminded me of her. May Norma live longer and keep on merchanting her happiness. 🙂

    • Thank you for sharing your lovely neighbor’s story, dear Proloy. Indeed having creative elders around is a blessing.
      Thanks for taking time in checking out the post. You made my day 🙂

  14. What a presentation? What it is? A food presentation?? A poetry? A painting? it satisfying all aspects… Just superb. And its my favourite dish too… Keep it up… wish can taste in real…

  15. Thank you for the humble award…..and Congrats to you too…..Reading the post is like reading about my granny whom I lost in July…..Miss her a lot….Happy Birthday to Norma….Lots of love and hugs too….Love the recipe….it’s droolicious…..

    • May Allah grant Jannah to your Granny. Insha Allah you guys will be reunited 🙂
      Thank you very much, sweetheart, for taking time in reading the post.

      Hugs back.

  16. Stunning photography, Nusrat, absolutely captivating. And the shrimp dish is on my list of “must do right away”! Thank you for taking through your neighbor’s vibrant garden and life — what a honoring thing to notice people, their tiring efforts, and their beauty. 🙂

    • Aren’t you a poet, Judy! Those words, lovely energies painted my soul instantly!
      I need to learn from you on complimenting others. Delighted to know that you liked that Shrimp curry 🙂

      Tons of love and hugs for visiting.

    • Your blog is one heck of a treasure-cove; so many yum yum recipes and crazy good photos! How can I not nominate you? 🙂

      Thanks for your super cute compliment on my post.

  17. আপনি আমার মাথাটা নষ্ট করসেন। সব আপনার দোষ। এত্ত অমানবিক আপনি!!!! ❤

    • That is a fairy-tale like compliment, dear Denise! Your flowery words filled up my senses instantly and painted my soul. Thank YOU!

      Take care, Doll-face 🙂

  18. Your posts always feel like a story, I read with rapt attention and then want some more. Oh of course I want more of that shrimp too!

    • Thanks a ton, my darling, for such a gracious compliment 🙂 Love the way you always inspire me with your kind, cute, nice words. Delighted to know that you enjoyed your time here.

      Love and hugs 🙂

  19. Happy 98th Birthday Norma! I love curries and your beautiful shrimp curry with the coconut milk has me already hungry this morning. I just a adore that photo of Norma picking her rosemary-precious! Wishing you a super day! BAM

    • Your message sent to Norma 🙂
      Thanks, darling, for the lovely wish 🙂 Many thanks for stopping by and dropping that beautiful comment.
      Love and hugs.

  20. Thank you much, Nusrat my dear, for the yellow hibiscus. How in the world did you know yellow is my favorite color? 🙂 Photos are stunning, Nusrat, as usual. But your stories are what always draw me in and get my eyes glued to the monitor! Your gift of writing surely will lead you to bigger and greener pastures one of these days. I have no doubt! A fan forever, Angie xoxo.

    • Your pure, peasant-like, passionate, sincere gardening, sun-kissed clicks, and captivating writing style made me a fan of yous too, sweetheart. So happy to know that a BEAUTIFUL human like yourself considers me worthy of following 🙂 Thank you!

      Those yellow Hibiscus flowers are very shy…they hardly come alive and smile. I was thinking of you while taking the picture of the most vivacious one… the latest one 🙂

      Love you too, Angie 🙂

  21. Pingback: Three ways with Brussels sprouts | The Novice Gardener

  22. Nusrat, congratulations on your blogging awards! I love how you passed them along with sweetness and flowers. Equally as sweet was your beautifully written tribute to Norma. The photo of her lovely, time-worn hands amongst the rosemary is a treasure! I’m glad you two are neighbors — a blessing for both of you.

    • Absolutely! You spoke my mind, dear Kim. So ecstatic that you took time in checking out my post. And I always appreciate your beautiful, powerful presence.

      Take care of your precious self.

  23. Congrats on the award! You deserve it.

    This dish is particularly mouthwatering and your pictures are fabulous. I really love the one of the peas.

    have a wonderful week!



  24. Happy Birthday Norma (from one Norma to another)!
    Congrats on your awards, always a pleasure reading your posts, seeing your photos and recipes.

    • Thank you, dear Norma, for making my Monday morning an absolute bliss with your glorious presence and soft, soothing words.
      Love and hugs.

  25. I love these types of recipes, more instinctual than exact. The purple beans are stunning! Do they stay purple when you cook them? And I love your little flower cup, so charming!

    • You’re right Rhonda about the recipe: I depend on my kitchen and common sense than measuring the ingredients ‘exactly’; I hope people don’t find it offending 🙂
      Beans quickly loose their hue when I blanch or saute them but the freshness remains intact.
      And thanks a million for stopping by and leaving a soul-soothing comment for me, dear Rhonda.
      Love and hugs.

  26. Nusrat your dishes are as poetic poetic! Each one speaks a different story to me!

    • Because you have a pair of beautiful eyes and a soft heart that listens and hears every time it beats.
      Thank you, my darling, for being here and making my day.

    • রেস্টুরেন্ট খোলার আইডিয়াটাও জোস 🙂 পোস্টে এসে সময় কাটাবার জন্য ধন্যবাদ নিও।

  27. Your posts make me smile, makes me want to appreciate life a little more. The positive vibe you spread is infection, love you soooo much for that.
    The story and the pictures are simply stunning and mesmerizing.
    You are one of a kind who has to be showered with all the awards, congrats and you are so deserving my dear.
    I love the purple beans, so darn gorgeous and the curry, oh myy…no words.
    TONS OF love from here.

    • Who else but my sweetheart, my soul-sister, my friend, the BEAUTIFUL Ash could compliment others so graciously! You have no idea how much I appreciate your friendship and those lil chit-chats 🙂
      Thanks, my darling, for taking my breath away with your magnificent wishes and words.

      Hugs, peace, cookies, laddoos and love.

  28. Another beautiful creation, bringing the aroma and spice of South East Asia to our vivid imagination! Keep it up, Nusrat!

  29. Really a very very good photos, i love them. And the recipes looks like delicious.

  30. Congrats on the award. Your pictures are simply gorgeous and so delightful. Hm….and I can’t wait to try your recipe. Love coconut and shrimps together!

    • Thank you and welcome! Lovely to have you here Amy. I’m sure you’d love this recipe, so don’t delay 🙂 Thanks again for your compliments on my pictures. I’m touched.
      Love and hugs.

  31. That was a beautiful post to read, and some beautiful photos too! 😀

  32. Whenever I see your post and photo I fall in luv with it, don’t know how creative you are and how good your food presentation. I wish I can open a restaurant business in UK and you can be my food creative designer!!!! Salute you and your work…….

    • Well, in that case, I think I’d have accepted your job offer immediately, vaiya 🙂 How sweet of you! How kind of you!

      Thanks a lot for those lovely words. I’m overwhelmed!

  33. Wow, I am enchanted with your beautiful rpose and even more so the gorgeous photography. I need to spend the next hour catching upw ith old your previous post! Following your journey, Nusrat!

    • Happy to know,sweetheart, that you found my journey worth following 🙂 I find your posts and photos charming and enchanting too.
      Many thanks for the warm compliment. Love and hugs!

  34. Congratulation dear Suborna. Tomi uttor uttor bijoy er shiri baya upora utho ai kamona roilo.Tomer Hidoy vora Valobasha amaka vashia galo..Amon Anandomoy shukhi jiban jano tumer-i jug jug thaka..

    • তোমাকেও অনেক অনেক ভালবাসা আর ধন্যবাদ। এত বিপদ, সমস্যার মাঝেও সময় করে ব্লগে এসেছ বলে অজস্র ধন্যবাদ। দোয়া রইল।

  35. Every beautiful word being said and all the lovely praises being showered upon u….here I am, repeating again….you are Amazing!!
    Much love for this warm morning you’ve presented me reading your poetic presentation ❤ ❤

    • How beautifully you spoke some soothing words! How softly you touched my heart! Thanks you, little darling. I’m truly moved.

    • Nice to hear from you, dearie and thanks a ton for that sweet compliment; indeed the curry looks and tastes fab 🙂 Take care, love and hugs

  36. you are the best food maker, and you the best. মুগ্ধ হয়ে গেলাম

    • এত বিশাল প্রশংসা পেয়ে বিব্রত হলাম, খুশিও হলাম 🙂 অনেক অনেক ধন্যবাদ!

  37. Sorry for my belated BirthDay Wish to Norma … A wonderful person, full of life , from whom we should learn how to enjoy the life rather being frustrated and thinking about ending it …

    And now I want to say something to You, Suborna Apu ,… only 3 sentences each contains only 3 words ..

    You’re an Artista …. You are Magical … I love You !!! ❤ ❤ ❤

  38. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe. I love coconut so much. I have bookmarked the recipe. Have a wonderful week!

    • Thanks for visiting, dear coconut-lover! Looks like we belong to the same club 🙂

      You have yourself a fabulous week.

    • Because you are Epic! You are a Legend! There’s something very special about you! And I’d be begging you to teach me food photography no matter what 🙂

      You have no idea how much your presence and compliments mean to me, my sweetheart!

  39. When it comes to Bengali cuisine, Chingri dishes are one of the indispensable parts of any ceremony or routine in house meals. I am a voracious Chingri/Prawn lover and Suborna’s kitchen seems always ready to welcome Chingri at any time. But this is a foodography, eat as much as you like with your eyes only!
    As Suborna states in the recipe, in Malaikari chingri, coconut or coconut milk pairs with Chingri in its exotic and delectable way.
    Good job Suborna! Your foodography not only looks delicious but must be tasting as such! 🙂
    Love and best wishes.

  40. How come i missed this wonderful post? beautiful apu, beautiful! you should give me some tips on food photography! 😀

    • I’m a learner myself, sweetheart. I have miles to go before I give anybody any tips on photography 🙂 Thanks a ton for popping over. Nice to see you again here.

      Love and hugs.

  41. I love your photos of the purple hyacinth beans (we call it papdi in Gujarati)! Simply beautiful! And Norma sounds like a wonderful neighbor. I wish I knew more of my neighbors! 🙂

    • Hanging out with neighbors is truly a rewarding habit. I hope and pray that we all would be able to form this habit 🙂

      Many thanks, dear Puja, for your kind compliment. Love and hugs.

  42. Another nice piece of work! It is a simple yet tasty recipe. Just one pointer…among those wonderfully bright photos of the tea pot, flower, beans and plant, the photo of the rice and shrimp looked a bit pale. But the photo alone is not dull at all. Just the rest were much vibrant. The rest is as usually amazing! 🙂

    • Great observation 🙂 Thanks Koushik for stopping by. Always a pleasure to hear from you. Take care of your precious self.

  43. Congratulations on the awards! And Happy belated Birthday to Norma (wow 98 years old!!)! Beautifully written post, and I love the shrimp!!

  44. Pingback: Shine On Award | More Food, Please

  45. Pingback: Shine On Award – More Food, Please

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