Sunday, May 30, 2010

SRFT: Say Right First Time

Dad! Gosh!!

My Dad has a syndrome. Anything you discuss with him and ask for an opinion, you will only get a negative answer. 

Once I hear something negative I never want to do it. I don't know why I feel jinxed if Dad does not agree the first time itself. I genuinely feel he needs to learn to say yes the first time and be a little positive and thoughtful the first time itself. Not after I have justified.

Look at this now, the whole of last week I was facing some technical issues with some framework on the job. I had many sleepless nights trying to find a solution. My focus was clearly on the new challenges at work brought in by my new portfolio.

I have not been able to cook properly. I feel guilty when I have to cook just rice in the morning. That happens due to my burning the night lamp to resolve the technical issues that even the support teams refuse to resolve. I love to experiment and at such times I am sleepless till I find a solution.

Now one solution I found for not being able to cook proper meals on week days is to hire a COOK.  This coming from a foodie and a blogger! It must have been really a necessity. My Dad immediately replied Sheee....I don't want a chapati made by a cook! His reaction made my heart sink as it was stung by guilt. This is bad. Dad has always made me stop by such restrictions.

Believe me I was getting a cook who we know has clean habits. She has been cooking for my friend's family for 2-3 yrs now. I have eaten the food cooked by her on some occasions but my Dad refused. He is ready to cook on his own. He is ready to help me. But I don't want that. He is growing older and I don't want him to do it on a daily basis. He does not realize that he will find it a chore to do it day in and day out. 

I sulked, grumbled and then Dad said OK. If you feel that you will get more time for other things and can focus on work then I am OK with it, he said. But now I don't want it. 

Will he ever learn to Say Right First Time: SRFT

This applies only to my Dad.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Corn and Paneer in a Gravy


This is a gravy that keeps really well in the fridge. At our home we eat only freshly cooked food. While in the joint family there was never a day when everything got used up. We always had leftovers but no one liked to have them for the next meal. Unless they were converted into unrecognizable stuff. Then here there is a trend in the south, many women tend to make a sambhar or a curry that can last them 3 days! I hate such lazy women. They justify that the curries get better as the flavors meld. No one thinks about the microflora that breeds in it. Especially when it is cooler in Blr, women tend to do this.


Last month Dad had gone to Mumbai. I had invited my friend Sulekha for a day with me. I made lots of things to treat her. She is a meagre eater. I had this large sized batch of this curry which was not much used. I packed a bowl for her. Still I had lots, for the next 3 days I would cook only rice and ate it fr dinner. It liked it a lot but still felt bored to eat it 3 times. It was creamy and tasty with hot steamed rice, I loved licking my fingers after mixing it with the hand.

So here is the recipe for a curry that you can stock up in the fridge, if you are the type.

Ingredients

1/2 cup corn kernels
1/2 cup paneer cubes
2 onions 
1/2 cup cilantro
1 green chili
1 teaspoon Shahi Paneer masala
2-3 pods garlic sliced
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon Oil

Heat oil in the kadhai. Fry the onions till pink. Put off the heat. Let it cool and then make a paste in the chutney jar along with the cilantro and green chili.

Now heat 1 teaspoon oil.Splutter mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Fry the garlic. Add the Paneer and corn. Coat with oil. Pour the onion paste in. Mix well. Add water and simmer for 20 mins or till paneer and corn is cooked. Add the masala and simmer cover for extra 5 mins. Let it cool and the flavors seep into the paneer.

Mixing this gravy with rice is as enjoyable as scooping it up with a piece of roti.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Moist Mushroom Biryani

 

Many a times on weekends after cooking elaborate meals or when am back tired from grocery shopping a quick pressure cooker biryani is really something I look forward to. Warm moist and satiating and if there are mushrooms in it then yum.

What is nice is the tomatoes give it a nice tang and juiciness. If using basmati presoak for 0.5 hr and drain  it before cooking. This makes the rice nice n fluffy.

Ingredients

1 cup Basmati rice
8-10 Mushrooms
2 tomatoes chopped
2 onions sliced
1 teaspoon Everest Birayani Masala
2 green chilies slit
1 tablespoon oil

Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Fry the onions till pink. Add the green chilies, Mushrooms, chopped tomatoes and Everest Biryani Masala. Add the pre soaked and drained Basmati rice. Mix well to give it a coat of oil. Pour water, about 2 glasses. Close the lid. Allow 2 whistles. Let it cool completely and only after all the steam has subsided open the lid and mix.

Fluff up the rice with a fork and serve. We had some corn and paneer gravy to go along with this biryani however even a raita is good.
.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

The Last Hapoos Icecream


When Sumeet visited me last month, he brought 4 dozen hapoos mangoes for me. Sweet bro he is. Oh he bought many other things too like dry fruits from APMC and some farsan, some Anjeer burfi from Jhama's. My sis Charu got 5 kgs Basmati rice. I have been enjoying all the goodies all this time.

The mangoes especially have satisfied my mango fantasies in all forms, pulp, lassi, milkshake, sheera. There was one craving I did not get to satisfy of mango icecream until I realized there was a lone mango left in the freezer.

Yes the freezer. I learnt a new thing about freezing and defrosting mangoes. Mangoes freeze extremely well with the skin on upto a week. As it always happens the mangoes ripened all together though my bro had made sure to select mangoes at different ages. This was to make sure I get to enjoy the mangoes for a longer period. Still they ripened in 2 batches. I decide to freeze the first batch.

They stayed good for a good week. Then the second batch ripened and I froze them too.

Then came the problem of defrosting 0.5 hr before eating. I want my mangoes on a whim but then when you have to wait till it defrosts you curse under the breath. However there is a surprise. The defrosting makes the mangoes a mush and separating the pulp is a breeze. You don't need to cube the flesh or scrape it to make pulp in a blender. I hate the pulp made in the blender. I enjoy the lumpiness of the mango pulp more as that is more natural. So that was a discovery for me. If you are thanking me for the tip? You are welcome.

Well I use my own trick, pulp The Last Hapoos add it to the blender. Open a can of Amul Mithai Mate pour it in. Snip of the small tetra pack of Amul fresh cream, pour over the other two ingredients. Fit the blender on the motor and give it a whir for exactly 5 mins. Pour out the mix into a clean dry plastic box. Close the lid and make sure it is airtight. Deep freeze for atleast 4-5 hrs or till it sets. I froze for a day.

Remove it from the freezer. Scoop out the sunny yellow milky treat that mellows the heart. The Last Hapoos Icecream!

I was not able to be a copycat for Blog Bites #2 even though I had found my inspiration on Jugalbandi so posting now with the one change, I use real cream.

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