Purity Does Exist

When tragically urban, rootless, ruthless civilization becomes breath-chocking, I take a drive to the cottage of my friend. To taste the earth and the jungle. That countryside cottage is gracious, its presence is ethereal, as unconditional love always is.

That timeless cottage stands under the pavilion deep in the grass. Here the sunshine is more wholesome as the withering Winter doesn’t linger. Here Orchids, butterflies, woods, wild Strawberries are all organic.



Kingfishers, glimmer of glow worms, Squirrels fly in rhythm. Here raindrops gently kiss the muddy Rosemary.


Metropolitan clock stops ticking here.

The man of the house wrings milk from freshly grated coconut, milking cows and goats. The woman of the house cooks vibrantly colored curries and intricate sweet, salt and sour stews every single day for their children. And the children of the house look like our ancestors: healthy, happy.


Hypnotic Haleem: sticky stew of meat, lentil and grains is full of gentle spices and warm comfort. Let the howling wind lash on my urban windows. Let it snow. Let the unmatched purity of rustic flavor ignite my stiffed heart.



1/2 cup each mung dahl/lentil, yellow split peas and barley

1 1/2 pound beef/lamb

2 tbsp each garlic & ginger paste

1 tbsp each freshly ground coriander & cumin

1 tbsp crushed red chili or 4-5 green peppers

1 tsp turmeric

2 sticks of cinnamon

1/2 cup olive oil or vegetable oil


2 tbsp clarified butter (ghee)

2 1/2 liter water

 To serve: (Optional)

Julienne ginger, chopped coriander leaves, sliced lemon, chopped green chillies.


* Soak dahl & barley together overnight. Wash, drain, place in a large heavy-based saucepan with meat and all the spices. add water. Simmer for around 3 hours, stirring occasionally. The stew will look sticky and thick at this point.

* In a fry-pan, add Ghee and fry sliced onions until brown. Add it all to the stew.

* Serve hot with fresh salad or above mentioned ginger, herbs and citrus.


HalimcprtThe excitement lies in the unexpected detail. It is a little rich, strong, swaggering. Add fresh salad and suddenly everything flares into life.


NoodlesAlong came some astonishing Noodles exploding with shredded Carrots, Zucchinis, Cherry tomatoes and sauteed shrimps intensity. Saturated with soy sauce, salt and ginger.


Tomato SaladHere the rhythm of the wind is meditative, an unhurried one. This afternoon is a perfect time to savor some Salad…simple yet full of charm.


Water melon chunks engulfed in flaming red.



By the end of the evening, that twilight-colored cottage always sends me back home with a basket full of pristine, free-range eggs and some sunshine to carry on my heart.

It’s a blessing to get to spend time at that preposterously fantastic cottage – the sort of thing you might read in fairy-tales only – a destination  ripe with romanticism and infused with love ♥

78 Comments on “Purity Does Exist

  1. Thanks for taking us to the cottage with you. Every photo is breath-taking. I am so glad you have an escape and an outlet for your creative outbursts. Warmed my soul.

    • How ecstatic I am to have you come here, dear Kathy! Hope life is treating you nice and kind. Loved your recent Artichoke post and photos. BEAUTIFUL indeed.

  2. Well, hello, Nusrat! What a nice surprise this was. As always, your words and photos are beautiful, as only you can do. I’d like you to come to Fiesta Friday, hon, and meet all the good people there. They would love you! ❤

    • Thanks a ton, Sweetheart, my darling, for all your love-kindness-and support. I’d love to be a part of your Fiesta.

  3. As I always tell u, as a passionate food lover, I’m always taking a sneak peek into your write ups n photos. I do surf a lot of food pages, sites n blogs, but a very few of them match your rustic yet elegantly exotic presentation of the delicacy, food.
    Honestly, through your food styling I developed a total new way to enjoy food, by just looking at it !
    Keep it up girl , I’m happy to be with you on this blissful journey of food art saga.

    • Aren’t you a poet! How beautifully you’ve put together your thoughts and words. It’s an honor to have you in my friend circle, my Darling Mafia! Hugs.

  4. The touch of the divine! Your heart always sings a song – the lyrics of which aren’t written to be analyzed; but meant to inspire without reason, to touch without understanding.

  5. i am just out of my words…..your are such a true and lovely soul….purity truly exists and you are giving us feel of that purity… 🙂

  6. loved the haleem and salad… yumm and delicious looking.. i have to learn a lot from you… ❤

  7. That’s one of the better watermelon pictures I’ve seen. They’re all wonderful, but that one is outstanding. And the food? Also outstanding! Another winner of a post — thanks.

    • How may I thank you for such a gracious, kind note, dear John? – Your presence got me overwhelmed. Thanks a bunch!

  8. প্রতিটা ছবি দেখলে মনে হয় সব তাজা চোখের সামনে , শুধু খেতে বসার অপেক্ষা ! আর মনে হয় ঠিক এই খাবারটাই যেন খেতে মন চাইছে , হাতের কাছে রেডি না থাকলে তখন মন আনচান করতে থাকে ! আর তোমার লেখা টা পড়তেছিলাম আপু , মাঝে মাঝে কনফিউজড হয়ে যাই আপু যে আসলে কোন কাজ টা বেশি ভালো পারো , লেখা পড়লে আনন্দ পাই , ছবি দেখে আনন্দ পাই একই সাথে খাবার দেখলেও মন আনচান করে :O

      • হি হি হি আপু যা প্রথম মনে আসে হড় হড় করে বলে দি ! 😀

    • সুমাইয়া, তুমি খুব সুন্দর করে আমার মনের কথা টা বলেছো 🙂
      @সুবর্ণা, I must try that Hypnotic Haleem!! ❤

      • This is the easiest version of Haleem recipe and I’m sure if I can make it through, so can you 🙂 Thank you for visiting, dear friend. Hugs.

  9. Lovely words, gorgeous photos (I particularly like the one of the eggs) and fabulous recipe! A beautiful post. Thanks for sharing.

    You are very lucky to be bale to escape ruthless civilization…



    • Thank you, my darling, for those beautiful words. I envy you as you get to live in a heavenly town all the time. What gorgeous snaps of your place you share from time to time! Mesmerizing!

  10. Purity really exists! but where? in Suborna apu’s photos, no doubt!! 😀 Eggs with feather was your new experiment I think, and that went very well, we can see that! And I would love to see your horizontal photo apu! Eagerly waiting… ^_^

    • Thanks, buddy, for your kind visit 🙂 The thing is, I’d love to take some horizontal pics on a regular basis but vertical ones add more depth and dimension to a food picture. Next time, I’d shoot a horizontal one … just for your page/group 🙂

  11. The stew looks so delicious and comforting! As always, your photographs and narrative are beautiful to view and read 🙂 Thank you for sharing, Nusrat!

  12. Loved the details of the nature:) I occasionally take a trip to an island, far away in my imagination, where I imagine I am alone, and stranded in a hut, and it is cold outside…but I only feel at peace and I don’t worry about anything:) I love haleem:))) and noodles:)

  13. Yes, I do agree with you apu what you said about the depth and dimension and Abir said the same thing too. Oh only for my group? That would definitely be an honor apu! Thanks very much in advance 😀

  14. The cottage really does seem not only like a place from a bygone era but a romantic place as well. Thanks for taking me there! I love your images, especially the eggs, watermelon and rosemary. Your meal looks nourishing and comforting xx

  15. This is what I call pure awesomeness !! Another brilliant writing from you ! Loved it ! I’m just having a craving to leave the melancholic urban life and get a vacation in a rural area ! It reminded of last year’s Laxmipur tour with my friends !! Love you a lot Apu ! ❤ ❤ ❤

  16. অনেক অনেক ধন্যবাদ অসাধারন পিকচার আর রেসিপির জন্য …
    আমি জানতাম হালিম রান্না অনেক কঠিন, অনেক অনেক রকমের মশলা লাগে, সিদ্দিকা কবিরের রেসিপি বইতে অনেক মশলার কথা বলা। অতো মশলা বানানোর ভয়েই হালিম রান্নার চিন্তা কম করতাম, কিন্তু যেভাবে বললে অনেক সহজ লাগলো শুধু মাংস আর পানির পরিমান টা একটু ভালো ভাবে বুঝিয়ে বলবে? আর ধনে আর জিরা কি ভেজে নেবো ??

    • দেড় পাউন্ড গোশ্ত হলে আড়াই লিটার পানি দেবে সব মিলিয়ে। রান্নার যখন, যে পর্যায়ে প্রয়োজন। একবার বানিয়েই দেখ। মশ্লাপাতি, পানি ইত্যাদির পরিমান আন্দাজ করতে পারবে তখন। আর হ্যাঁ, ধনে-জিরা টেলে নিয়ে হামান্দিস্তায় গুঁড়ো করে নিলে ‘মাথা-নষ্ট’ ফ্রেশ ফ্লেভার পাবে 🙂 ব্লগে পড়ার জন্য অনেক ধন্যবাদ, বন্ধু। ভালবাসা নিও।

  17. Asslmalkm.. Nusrat..everything here is so natural,so pure,so beautiful…loved them all so much…beautifully expressed!!! ❤

    • Walaikum Assalam warahmatullahi wabarakatuh, my darling! Thanks a million for the compliment. Love and hugs. (I’m a huge fan of your photography…you’re a natural)

  18. As usual Nusrat is at her poetic best! A beautiful prose blended with exciting, tempting and ravishing food-photography of delicious dishes , transforms the whole thing in to a poetry! And the poetess of such an extraordinary composition could be none other than Nusrat A Suborna! Man, you do us proud!

  19. Beautiful post Nusrat…I enjoy every word and the pictures…thank you!
    Have a great weekend 😀

  20. what an amazing getaway !!! you take us there in such a beautiful way, I felt I was with you!! you are a terrific writer, such expressions, never read before, every word carefully chosen so apt, makes me feel guilty as Iam not so good in writing or expressing but I enjoy well written works, you blog is a great wealth to me..leaves me with a beautiful mood, must read every night before I go to bed I feel…God bless you dear.

  21. Pingback: Haleem ... meat-lentil stew. Recipe: Recipe: https://myselfnusrat.wordpress.com/2014/05/02/purity-does-exist/ - Recipes

  22. Pingback: Haleem ... meat-lentil stew. Recipe: Recipe: https://myselfnusrat.wordpress.com/2014/05/02/purity-does-exist/ - Recipes Ideas

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