Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Potato Mozzarella Chili Crêpe


Once I get on to the net I am stuck until Dad gets impatient and reminds me.

It was 7.45 pm and I had still not started cooking dinner. It had to be a rice and dal night plus it was Saturday. So I thought I'd fry some potato bhajji. I sliced the potatoes and started looking for chickpea flour to make the batter only to know I was out of stock.

Then it just flashed I could make potato omlette or what the Swiss call potato pancake. But after making it and the two of us freaking out on it. I rechristened it to Potato Mozzarella Chili Crêpe.

I loved the original flavors and the ketchup king enjoyed it with his signature tomato dip.

Ingredients

2 medium potatoes
2X3 piece of Mozzarella Cheese
2-3 green chilies chopped fine
1 teaspoon Olive oil
salt

In a non stick pan add Olive oil and heat on high. While the oil is heating slice the potatoes on a V-slicer. Layer the potatoes in the pan try to close all gaps by ovelapping the second layer of slices. Sprinkle salt if required. I find cheese salty so don't need to add extra salt on the potatoes. Now grate the Mozzarella on the layered potatoes. Keep the gas on sim. Sprinkle fine chopped green chilies on in. Cover and cook for 15 mins. Lift the crepe with a spatula or fork and check if crisp and golden at the bottom. If it is nice and golden it will come off easily from the pan. Lift it onto a plate with the cheesy side up. The cheese on melting forms a nice lace at the edges and in the gaps. The crepe is unbelievably light and tasty and looks so pretty too.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Mushroom Max Meal Plus Deepa's Gift For The Blog


At work I am a complete professional people would say in my past roles. However since April 2007 that changed. I moved into a team with more ladies. I changed quite a bit. I have been most times working with men and used to being the sole lady around. I surprised myself by opening on personal matters with Nimmy, Manasa and Deepa in the first few weeks itself. I was experiencing the female bonding theory here !!!

The friendship with Deepa took time to grow and is one of mutual trust. Her beliefs are almost similar to mine when it comes to family. She is someone I can talk to without worrying about being judged. She tells me point blank when I am wrong and there are very few people whom I allow that. Deepa is a good listener and is very caring. She is my support and I value her much more than she knows! I see her blushing as she reads this.

Now I am not very easy at accepting gifts and always discourage anyone trying to gift me. Yet when last week we met and were on our way to see Preeti's baby she handed me a big and heavy packet saying she wanted to off load it. I took it thinking, "Oh let me hold it for her, how many things will she carry?!" her second one is on the way you see. Then she told me it's a gift for me, for the blog! She surprised me with it.

I loved the gift Deepa! I felt like a kid playing with lego bricks and shapes. So here are lots of pictures today.

The bowls are colorful, lego brick like and stackable!



To put together this meal for two:

Ingredients

15 Mushrooms
Olive oil

Clean and wash the mushrooms. Separate the caps and stems. The caps will be used for stuffing and stems for separate spiced bake.

___________________________________

Stuffed Mushrooms

15 Mushroom caps
1/4 teaspoon dry Oregano
1/4 teaspoon dry Basil
1/4 teaspoon Garlic powder
15 nos. 1 inch bits of Mozarella cheese
salt to taste


In a baking tray spray some olive oil. Line up the mushroom caps hollow side up. Fill one cap with one mozarella cheese bit. Complete all 15. In a small bowl mix together the herbs and garlic powder with salt. Sprinkle this mix on the stuffed mushroom caps. Spray olive oil just a bit.


Roasted Peppers

1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
2-3 garlic pods
salt

In the same tray. Halve the red and yellow peppers and arrange them in the baking tray such that the hollow side is down. Spray them with olive oil. Slice the garlic thin and sprinkle on the peppers. Sprinkle salt.

___________________________________

Spiced Mushroom Bake

15 mushroom stems diced
1 teaspoon Chili flakes
4-5 garlic pods
1/4 teaspoon Thyme
2 teaspoon vinegar ( I used from my pickled onion and chilies)
1 teaspoon olive oil
salt

In a aluminium foil put the diced mushroom stems. Slice garlic over it. Sprinkle the chili flakes. Add the vinegar. I used vinegar from my pickled onions and chilies. If you have any pickled veggies in vinegar use that as it adds a nice dimension to the flavors but if you don't then use plain. Top with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Make a packet of the foil by folding at the edges.

___________________________________



Preheat oven for 10 mins at 250 deg Celsius.

Put the baking tray into the oven and the packet of Spiced Mushrooms. Keep them in for 20 mins or till you see burn spots on the skin of the peppers. Remove from the oven. Let it cool.
___________________________________

Deskin the peppers and cut into strips. Save in a bowl.

Remove the stuffed mushroom into a serving dish.

Open the foil packet and empty into a serving dish. It will have some liquid from the baking keep it. Bread dipped in it tastes wonderful.

In a bowl I sliced some tomatoes and kept some pickled baby onions.

___________________________________

Arranging the sandwich.

I warmed the bread in the oven. Sliced it in the median. Layered with tomato slices, roasted bell peppers both red and yellow. Sliced the pickled onions over it. Then topped with spiced mushroom bake. Closed the sandwich with the other half of the bread and it was ready to bite into. Quite a mouthful !

The stuffed mushrooms were a nice accompaniment too.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Baby Onions and Chilies in Vinegar


Some time ago I had put some baby onions (sambar onions) in vinegar and forgotten about it. Then yesterday I bought these chilies for Mirch ka Salan that I want to try out. I removed the baby onions to check the taste. I flipped completely.

I knew I would not need more than 6 chilies for the two of us so had to do something with the rest of the chilies. They went into the vinegar. That was the easiest way to enhance my fantasies of jalapenos in vinegar. I washed and pat dried them. One slit in each chili to ensure pickling inside out. I let the chilies swim in the onion pink vinegar and let the already pickled onions in the same jar sit atop the green chilies. They looked picture perfect I thought.

I know they are not jalapenos but can someone tell me what type they are?

Date: 25th Nov 2012

7 Jalapenos in vinegar with 2 cloves of garlic and 25 nos. black pepper corns

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Badam Halwa


I've been wanting to try this halwa for a long time. It is not so common in Maharashtra. May be it is made in homes but I have never tasted it there. In Bangalore I have tasted it at couple of places. This halwa is more like semi set peda. If the mix is thickened further and shaped into rounds you will get pedas. But eating this halwa out of a tiny cup is more decadent than a peda. It is something to do with the gooey texture that coats the tongue and releases the sweetness first, the melting of khava followed by the granules of almonds. Don't ask for more ;)!

Ingredients

1/2 cup almonds
1 cup Khava/khoya/condensed milk solids
1/4 cup powder sugar
2-3 pinches saffron soaked in 1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoon ghee

Grind the almonds to get flour. Heat ghee in a pan. Roast the almond flour for 5 mins. Crumble the khava and roast until pink in color. Add the powder sugar. After adding sugar the mix will start thinning. Keep stirring till it comes together a bit. Once sticky almost like nougat put off the heat and blend in the milk soaked saffron.

Serve it in tiny china cups with almonds to scoop the halwa.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

MTR needs to learn hospitality

Recently Dheer Uncle was here to visit us over the weekend. We went to Navadarshanam for a day trip and then thought of having an early dinner at MTR. A brand so famous for its high quality food and the spice mixes that it is a household name.

MTR is also infamous for the rude behavior of its staff at the restaurant. We experienced this first hand. We walked into the restaurant and inquired about dinner. We were told that dinner would start at 7.40 pm that would mean we would have to wait for 1/2 hour. So we decided to go for snacks. There was a huge crowd in the waiting. We registered our names for table reservations. The old man was way too rude. He started dictating that we would get only rava idli and upma. After 15 mins of waiting when we still did not get our tables and he started telling us that they were stopping serving snacks we lost our patience and walked out of the restaurant.

We understand that they serve fresh food and never make excess but with the rudeness they tell you it makes you feel like a beggar. Wonder if they feel they run a Anna Chhatra! (free food charity service)

MTR that prides in its heritage so much needs to learn hospitality. Hope the young scions who run the business read this and bring in a change.

As for me I have decided never go to MTR again till I hear that their service has improved.

I have emailed to customer care at the email id:mailto:rama.devi@mtrfoods.comlet us see what follows.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Stone Ground Dal Vadas


In Bangalore choosing a rented house in your budget means compromising on luxuries you are used to in Mumbai. It means you get a bathroom with a huge rough granite stone right in the middle as a perk! The broker tells you, "These days you will not get a washing stone in new style bathroom Madam!" As if I was dying to have it.

Then I look at the kitchen. I have seen it in many kitchens but did not have one in my past rented houses. Two to be exact. My first house had a modern kitchen. The last one was a Madrasi kitchen but I did not complain. This one is a Kongati Kitchen (Don't kill me, I'm depressed with what I got) with a grinding stone in the middle of a kitchen platform that is so small that it barely holds the gas stove, oven and mixie.

I don't want to be spending a bomb on my rent so I settled for this house. I refuse to call it home. It is difficult for anyone one who has not lived in a rented place to understand this. I just cannot forget that I am in the south !

Yet when I saw this grinding stone I knew instantly I was going to use it atleast sometimes even if it made the kitchen look uncool. Now now we got to make good of whatever is available rigth! So I decided to make Stone Ground Dal Vadas. I had used a flat stone grinder called paata in my village but it is the first time I used this type of a grinder and found it easy to handle.


Ingredients

1 cup chana dal / split chickpea
2 green chilies
a handful of curry leaves
salt to taste
oil to fry

Soak the chana dal for 2-4 hrs. Drain water. Grind in the stone grinder without water OR in a wet grinder attachment of a mixie along with green chilies. Keep the texture coarse. Mix in the curry leaves and salt. Shape into small balls. Flatten them between the palms. Fry till golden in hot oil.

Serve with any type of chutney. I made Mint Cilantro Chutney to go with it.

Mint Cilantro Chutney

Ingredients

1 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar

Grind together into paste with minimum water.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Kachya Kelyachi Bhaaji

and Trips to Vapi


Today for our lunch I made Kachya Kelyachi Bhaaji or raw banana stir fry. This is a simple stir fry not really so complex to put down a recipe here on the blog. Yet this blog is not just about recipes it logs my memories of things big and small. This bhaaji to me reminds me of my trips to Vapi and yet again proves how the memories of food are so strong.

This was way back in 1998. I was then working for a company that dealt in water treatment for industrial applications. My job was to provide consultation on the treatment process and sell equipments required for it. Since at that time the area we covered was between Churchgate to Ankleshwar many a times I travelled by the passenger train to Vapi, Silvassa, Daman, Bhilad, Boisar etc.

It was the time when I was one of the few girl Engineers working in the area. These were hostile areas not so safe for travel but I did it. It made me proud. Many a times a certain Marwadi Chairman of a company hosted lunches and showered me with gifts for just doing my job. He felt I represented the new age woman. Bah! On one such occasion the owner of my company was thoroughly impressed.

Whenever I travelled that route I had to take the Firozepur Express or Saurashtra Janata Mail at 7.15 am or the other at 7.45 am from Dadar. The time many not be correct or I may be goofing on the names of the trains.

People know about the pains of travel in Mumbai but the pains of travelling on the western Industrial route is less talked about. There are many who go daily to work across the border to Gujarat. Businessman, Consultants, Engineers, factory workers all travel anything between 2hrs to 5 hrs one way to be able to work. Getting into a passenger train is a horrifying experience. It is not just people going to work but also are full of long distance travelers with their luggage. The lingo to be able to grab a seat is "we are pass holders." Railways has not made separate arrangements for daily commuters. The trick to avoid fights and enjoy the long distance commute to your work place is to climb on to the luggage racks above the seats. Yes! you read it right! Luggage racks, these are not sleepers. So as soon as we regulars would get into the compartments we would climb up and adjust ourselves among the luggage. Once settled and beyond Virar station we would bring out our breakfast boxes and share it. There was this girl who started from home at 5.00 am with hot poli bhaaji packed by her working mother. She would atleast once a week have the Kachya Kelyachi Bhaaji in her box. She would tell me 2 polis for breakfast and 4 for lunch all in the same box while I would carry some sort of a sandwich. She would always share it with me. I traveled thrice a week whereas these people traveled everyday. Inspite of all the problems there were bonds made and stories shared.

I remember once the overhead wire of the train broke at Vasai so my train friends and me went on a picnic to Wajreshwari that day. Even otherwise when I went to these Industrial areas for work I always managed to enjoy the beauty of dense green Silvassa or the beaches of Daman. I loved the drives between Nani Daman and Moti Daman and from Bhilad to Silvassa or Vapi to Silvassa. In the rains I'd play in the canals and float paper boats. I always made the most of my trips else I would have remembered those days as the days of hardships.

Kachya Kelyachi Bhaaji brought back memories of those commutes.

Ingredients

3 Raw bananas
2 teaspoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon mustard
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
2 green chilies chopped fine
1 cup water
1/4 cup grated coconut
salt to taste

Peel the raw bananas remove the green skin completely. Dice them and save. In a wok heat coconut oil on high. Season with mustard seeds and asafoetida. Reduce heat and add the dice bananas and chopped green chilies. Mix well to coat with oil. Add water and salt then mix well. Cover and cook till soft. Put off the heat and mix in the grated coconut.

If this bhaaji is made with cumin seeds seasoning and asafoetida skipped it can be eaten as fasting food.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Ravan Pithale


My friend, Shaliesh who thinks I know a little bit about old world recipes one day asked me if I knew to make Ravan Pithale. I had never in my dreams thought that there would be a much loved recipe named after Ravan. Yes Ravan of the Ramayan who generates emotions of hatred in a Hindu.

Then I started enquiring with may senior ladies where ever I went to learn the recipe of Ravan Pithale. Everyone told me that it had equal proportions of normal ingredients of a regular Pithale. Yet none of the women were confident about it. Many had tasted Ravan Pithale many many years ago made by their mothers or Ma-in-laws. Pithale is not a Koli traditional recipe at all so none of the senior ladies in my family could help me.

This is strange as Pithale is a curry made most times when falling short on the quantity of food or when one had a sudden hungry visitor or when there were no leftovers for the ladies after serving the men and children in the family in the old world family structure. It is common to hear how the rest of the family envied the women for slurping on hot Pithale . When actually they had thoughtfully sacrificed their share of food and served the men and children and then made a quick fix for themselves. Pithale is as common place but not Ravan Pithale I realized.

Then a on a trip to Gondavale our priest's wife checked her dairy for the recipe given by her mother. This recipe is adapted from what I remember from that conversation.

At home I was one of the few in the family who did not like Pithale. In our home we always make pithale with chunks of corn on the cob added to it hence I decided to use corn in this one too and make it more delicious but instead baby corn.

Well the reason it is called Ravan Pithale is due to the excesses in the proportions of ingredients. Traditionally in the Vidarbha when this Pithale is made all ingredients are used in equal proportions including red chili powder. So if one was using 1/2 cup chickpea flour then it required 1/2 cup red chili powder !! besides oil, peanut powder etc. I however have chickened out and used 1 tablespoon of red chili powder which is pushing the limits for us.

Ingredients

1/2 cup chickpea flour/ besan
1 cup baby corn pieces ( This is my addition to the traditional)
1/2 cup raw peanut powder
1/2 cup oil
10-12 curry leaves
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon asafoetida
1/2 cup red chili powder ( I chickened out and used only 1 tablespoon)
salt to taste
4-5 cups water
1 handful chopped cilantro



In a kadahi heat the oil till smoky. Prepare the seasoning by spluttering mustard, followed by asafoetida and curry leaves. Then add the chickpea flour and reduce the heat. Stir and mix well till the chickpea flour emanates a nice nutty fragrance. Next add the raw peanut powder and roast till 5 mins. Add in the red chili powder at this point. Mix once and pour water. Increase the heat to medium. Keep the consistency of the pithale creamy and thick. Adjust water accordingly. I used about 5 cups of water. Add salt as per taste. Now add the baby corn and boil for 10 mins or till you see a little oil rise on the top.

Put off the heat and add chopped cilantro and mix well.

Serve with hot steamed rice.

This is a meal cooked in villages so mostly without any other accompaniments except onion. It has to be mixed with fingers and slurped for thorough enjoyment.

I enjoyed the Ravan Pithale and kept a napkin handy to wipe off the sweat. I would recommend a cool lassi or glass of butter milk to follow to help douse the fire generated by the ravenous gulping of Ravan Pithale or a couple of bananas must follow.


Patal Pithala: The regular Pithala that can be eaten with rice.
Korda Pithala: Dry Pithala to be enjoyed with Bhakari and onion.
Takatla Pithala: This is the version I prefered as a child as it used Tak or buttermilk in it.
Kulithacha Pithale: Horsegram flour pithale that is a favorite among the Konkani people. My SIL swears by it.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Mushrooms in Tomato Sauce with Basil




This recipe is a easy and tasty snack on its own and a great filling for a sandwich. I make this just for myself as Dad does not like mushrooms.

Ingredients

12 -14 Button Mushrooms
2 tablespoons Tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon dry Basil
1 teaspoon Olive Oil
salt to taste


Clean and Wash the Mushrooms. Quarter them and keep aside. In a skillet add Olive oil. Keep high heat. Add the mushrooms saute till water dries up. Add the tomato sauce and saute further till coats the mushroom. Now sprinkle the dry basil and mix well. Adjust salt to your taste. I did not need any as the tomato sauce had enough for my requirements. Cover and cook for 2 mins. Put off the heat. Serve hot on a platter.

Nibble on the lovely snack or fill it between fresh baked bread. I enjoyed it both ways and filled it in sliced garlic bread.

Simple snack for the soul.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I Love Thai Green Curry



I have never tasted Thai food. So to give it a try picked this packet of Kaeng Thai Green Curry paste.

We loved it. This will be on our menu many times I know and why not? When it made Dad comment that this is so familiar for our Indian palate. The curiosity to try the green curry had begun here Thai Green Curry (Gaeng Keow Wan).

What I loved about making a Thai meal is after coming home early I was working and Dad announced at 7.30 pm that he was hungry. I told him give me just 20 mins. First I put the rice in the pressure cooker. While it whistled away I cut the veggies, baby corn, spring onions, long peppers and simmered them in 200 ml coconut milk for 5 mins. Then added the curry paste simmered for another 5 mins. Tasted the paste while adding it was high on sodium and had too much of fire for our capacity. I also meant to use the 300 ml of coconut milk that I still had left. So in went it. Then adjusted a bit of salt and let it simmer for 7-8 mins.

While the curry simmered I had put off the pressure cooker after 3 whistles and it had cooled off too. Next I opened the cooker and scooped out steaming hot rice into a bowl and poured hot curry over it. Why would it not win our hearts tell me?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Chill Out Trifle

Sure you will !! but wait did you get it yet? This is actually a no chill Trifle. You heard me right you can make it without putting it in the fridge !!!

I moved to a new place in a nearby area last week. Followed by lot of packing - unpacking, limbs exerted, living in boxes for a week followed by fever this weekend.

Yet the ever bright smile I try to keep up many times fools a lot of people around me. At such times I depend on Food !! Not a good thing to do but when you need it you just need it.

So lets do the needful first and then may be if you are interested enough read further how I live a frugal life and it gets mentioned here when I want to change many things about it.

The recipe first.

Just yesterday I picked up Amul's Low fat fresh cream and it stayed good at room temperature I should say Kitchen temperature for 32 hrs. I also had bought Kissan's Orange Marmalade after long since we decided to cut out unwanted sugar and Britannia's Marie Gold. All I needed was a fresh fruit to put together a trifle and an apple was the choice.


Ingredients

1 pack 200ml Amul's low fat fresh cream
1 tablespoon of sugar
2 tablespoons Kissan's Orange Marmalade
8 Britannia's Marie Gold biscuits
1 apple

Take 2 nos. 3 inch bowls. Crush the Marie biscuits and line the bottom of the bowl. Use 4 biscuits for each bowl. I like bits you may crush to coarse powder if you like it that way. Then cut the apple to small pieces. Use half an apple for each bowl. Layer on top of the crushed biscuits. Now add 1 tablespoon of orange Marmalade on the apple layer. Spread it a little so its distributed well. Keep it aside to soften a bit. Meanwhile get the fresh cream ready.

In a big bowl scoop out the fresh cream. Discard the water if any. Add the sugar and beat with a wooden or plastic spatula till the sugar is dissolved and soft peak are formed.

Finally divide the sweetened cream equally between the two bowls and top them up. You can add nuts and raisins too or drizzle with fruit sauce of choice.

It can be enjoyed immediately if you like a bit of crunch in the dessert or let it sit for 10 mins to soften and sink a bit and if you like mush add a little bit of milk.

It a perfect treat for people who are barred from eating chilled treats.


and the boring story continues..... Why live a frugal life? There are several reasons. No they are not religious neither am I a stingy person. Then sometimes there is a breakdown and I feel like going home to Mumbai and the comfortable life. Then again I just bounce back.

What I have learnt is inspite of being used to amenities that ease life it is possible to live without them and not miss them as much as you think.

Here is my daily routine.
Wake up call by Dad at : 5.00 am
Brush and get fresh
Cook: till 6.15 am
Pack lunch box
Hand Wash clothes and bath: after 6.15 am
Hang the clothes for drying.
Have tea made by Dad.
Pick up lunch box
Catch bus at 7.10 am for office
Reach office by 8.10 am
Work till 6.00 pm
Reach home by 8.00 - 8. 15 pm
Get fresh and have dinner made by Dad most times.
Do the dishes and clean the kitchen.
Surf the Internet, catch up with loved ones who are far away.
Sometimes do some office work or spend time on my hobbies as I do not watch much TV except while having dinner. I watch whatever my Dad watches.
Sleep by 11.30

If you think this is clockwork it is. It works for me most times. I have my times when I want to just chill out and throw away all this clockwork to the wind.

At times I feel like Jane Austen trying to please the father.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wish You A Happy Onam !!



Onam Ashamsagal !!


To all my Mallu friends


Johnson, Shirley & Shimon
Soni, Shankar, Nishu n Niki
Seema Menon

Sunil Kanoor


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Ganpati Bappa la Ratalyachi Kheer

Naivedya Today:
Ratalyachi Kheer, Avacado chutney, Kakdichi Koshimbir, Jeera Aloo, Bhaat, Sambar, Kerala Paratha, papad and Kobi Bhajji.



गणपती बाप्पा मोरया !!!

On the Ganesh Chaturthi day I was planning the naivedya I was in a kind of dilemma not knowing what to make. There was little piece of Sweet potato and Dad had requested for Ratalyachi Kheer a couple of days ago. I was in no mood for the modak making session. Alok seemed quite upset on the phone when he heard I was not making any. He pined yesterday too he said in this season modak is a must! He says it as he is like my kid bro.

In spite of going through an emotional upheaval I made this complete thali. To feel festive one must be in the right mind set. My neighbors too missed the 21 modaks that I usually offer to the Ganapati in their home since last 2 years.

Hope atleast Ganapati Bappa understands. I know he does as he is the one who gives strength and assures "This too shall pass".

Dad devoured the Ratalyachi Kheer at lunch and dinner too.

You will need:

Ingredients

1 cup boiled mashed sweet potato/ Ratala
1/4 cup jaggery
2 cups milk
1 fistful pistachio
1 teaspoon cardamom

In a saucepan add about 2 tablespoons of water and put it on medium heat. Crush the jaggery and add it to the saucepan. Let the jaggery melt. Then add the boiled mashed sweet potato. Mix well. Then goes in the milk. Let is boil but keep watching so that it does not spill over.

Meanwhile grind the pista in a dry grinder to coarse powder. Add the powdered pista into the saucepan. Stir with a spoon so there are no balls formed. Boil the kheer till it thickens a bit. Remove from heat and add the cardamom. Cover and let it stand for 10 mins before serving just to allow the flavors to blend in.

This Ratalyachi Kheer is wonderful both hot and chilled. It is the slurpy heart warming sweetness.

Kobi Bhajji

Is made by following the recipe for Kanda bhajji but skip the garlic. Instead of the sliced onions we use shredded cabbage. I use a V-slicer for the beautifully thin shreds. The bhajji turn out wonderfully crispy. They are fit for Naivedya too as Onion and garlic are gone.

Avocado Chutney

Gosh! this was the first time I was using Avocado. I had picked a nice firm one and it had cost me a good 40 bucks. It was lying around for 2 days then I decided to make some Burritos. I cut the Avocado into two. Admired the seed. Then sliced of a bit and put it in my mouth. I had read about people swooning over Guacamole so it was the natural thing to do. It was such a let down. It did not have any taste. Then I gave a tiny bit to a Dheer Uncle who was here with us at the time also giving him gyan on Avocado. Suddenly he yucked it out! and so did Dad who had managed to get a bit into his mouth. It was bitter!!! I wondered how that was possible and I nibbled on another piece. All of us needed an antidote of jaggery after that!!

Throw it out!!! I was instructed with disgust. I did not have the heart to do it.

I came back to Google guru and asked why my Avocado was bitter? Yahoo answers told me it might be raw. I put both the halves of the spilt Avocado and kept it in the veggies tray. Then on the Chaturthi Day it felt mushy under the thick skin. I washed and peeled the skin off and then mashed it to smooothness along with a couple of chilies to make the chutney and squeezed lime on it.

I think Avocado is overated for its taste frankly.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Methi Paneer Sovereign

Methi Paneer Sovereigns with Pickle and Channar Payesh


Cuz S is a health freak. He is the type who picks veggies out of the serving that may be lined with a bit of oil and dabs it on absorbent paper. He is constantly nibbling on little things but never eats a lot at a time. Fried food is absolute no. Sweets are shunned away.

He works out regularly and is very carefully dressed always. Even if you want him to leave home at 6.00 am you will find him with fashionably styled hair with gel.

You might have guessed he is looking. He listed out the things he would look for in a girl to marry and said two things are very important for him.

1. She should be as tall as him (which means as short as him, He is an Indian man you see)
2. She must be fit (he is so expected this)

All this was OK until I heard him say, "I will be fit even at 60 and working out with my grandchildren."

This made me shrink. I had heard this once before from W too.

I mentioned this too Uncle MJ and he said, "Haat paay chaltat to paryant thik aahe" I'll translate it for you, "Until you are mobile, its OK to say this!"

It made me think. Yes it is so important to go beyond and think inspite of the care one takes can anyone predict the future or control it. Just like we invest in good health should we not invest in the people around us. I know this sounds selfish but think of it.

I many times wonder

1. Who takes care of people who do not have family around them when they are ill?
2. What is their fate?
3. Does their money help?
4. Does society help?
5. Does their having been fit all their life help?

Well we must learn to invest in relationships wisely for our own selfish goals atleast.

For all the fitness freaks who think that they will last till the end of the world here is Methi Paneer Sovereigns with Pickle and Channar Payesh. A little indulgence and a smart investment in people around you will make you a happy person towards the end of your life. I learnt this from the many I saw and I learnt from their mistakes.

When you have a bit of paneer that you don't want to keep away for the next day and a full meal ready, what do you do?

Don't think much make Methi Paneer Sovereigns. Try them out they are sheer pleasure and really this is a high protein recipe also ideal for weight loss programs if baked.


Ingredients

1/2 cup paneer
1 teaspoon kasuri methi
1/2 cup chickpea flour
salt to taste
1 green chili
Oil

Knead together all the ingredients. Divide the dough into 6 parts. Shape into marbles and press into flat sovereigns. Shalow fry.

Else spray with oil and bake till golden at 200 deg. Baking is feasible if the quantity is larger. This recipe though healthy is for indulgence so always make small quantities.

I served with pickle you can serve with any dip of your choice. I enjoyed it on its own for the wonderful flavor of kasuri methi.

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