Friday, September 29, 2017

Discovering Yom Kippur Tradition And A Beautiful Break-Fast Pastry In Mumbai

Puri, a filled pastry made in Mumbai’s Indian-Jewish community to break the fast after Yom Kippur. Pic by Shulie Madnick
Read more: Discovering Yom Kippur Tradition And A Beautiful Break-Fast Pastry In Mumbai

Note : The Jewish Daily Forward is the largest Jewish newspaper in the US out of NYC.

Shulie Madnick of Foodwanderings was born in Israel and lives in the US. Niv Mani of Panfusine introduced us on FB. I still remember our first discussion on Kadve Vaal and ever since we have been talking about food, places, family and other things. I was totally taken by surprise when I read on her blog that her father was born in Navgaon, neighbor to my village Thal.
The pull of her Indian roots so strong that she visited India last year and has been writing about her exploration of the food and culture of the Bene Israeli Jews in India.
For a person not born in this country, I am fascinated that she cooks Indian food that she learnt while growing up from her mother. When she is writing a piece like this she puts in so much passion that it rubs on you. I have enjoyed these conversations a lot when she almost worked like an investigative journalist. We both trying to figure out things that her mother said from her memories of India before she went to Israel. Its such an exciting journey to be part of.

Here is what my husband, AC says about this article:
Fascinating story of an Israel born Indian Bene Israeli woman married to an American and living in the US. Who visited our country to explore the food and culture of her parents traveling to places where this community first landed and then spread across. Much like us Parsi and assimilated.

Hope you enjoy the read as much as I enjoyed being part of Shulie's research.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Bhutte Ka Kees Ya Phir Pees

Hello friends, readers and the world!

Blogging is lagging behind now while I am busy with lots in life. Will tell you about those things as we go further but first I must tell you how this lovely find brought me back to the blog.

Well few days ago we were at the Matunga market and I spotted this corn basket. I was anyways going to buy it since it is end of monsoon and the corn may disappear soon, least expending this pearly white Indian corn!

Like most other things our Indian markets are flush with American yellow corn and its become a rarity to find our indigenous variety, oh the great joy! They aren't that expensive though I bought 4 heads for Rs.50. My husband who has the least interest in ingredients wondered aloud what I would do with so many. Immediately then and there the division of bounty was done. One for him, boiled corn pearls and the rest for me for Kees, pithla and any other new thing I wanted to try. 

On reaching home I discovered that there was only one tender cob, the others had a slight bite. So the tender one was boiled and given to the husband.

Then one I grated and added to a pithla. Another one I chose to make kees but it would become gritty if I grated it I presumed. So instead I did a pees or ground it. Hence the title Bhutte ka kees ya phir pees!

Those who know Bhutte ka kees or grated corn, is a delicacy popular in Indore. This Indian corn works perfectly for this kees as it is not as sweet as the American corn. So my husband was complaining about it being a little less sweet when boiled.

I know you are already drooling at the platter of Bhutte kas kees so here is the recipe. I must thank my friend Soumitra who requested it else this blog would have found me procrastinating.


1 corn, kernels separated
1 big pinch turmeric
1 big pinch red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
a squeeze of lime
1 green chili chopped fine
1 tablespoon oil
a big pinch cumin seeds
a big pinch mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
handful of fresh grated coconut
handful of cilantro chopped fine

a handful of fine sev

First grind together corn, chili powder, turmeric powder, sugar, salt along with lime juice to a coarse slurry.

Then in a hot pan add oil. Crackle the mustard, cumin and green chili. Add the asafoetida and stir quickly so that it does not form a lump and quickly add the above ground corn slurry. Keep stirring till the slurry starts leaving the sides of the pan. take it off the gas and keep stirring to cook it in the residual heat. This is as tricky as making Parsi Akuri, you have to ensure that its cooked but not to let it clump up. A good kees or as in my case pees is creamy or just about set.

This recipe is for a single person but you can just double or triple it up according to the no. of people you need to serve. One corn is quite satisfying for one person or for a lady, a guy may want more.

Remove the pees oh the kees into a nice bowl and sprinkle fresh grated coconut and chopped cilantro over it. Add the sev if you like some crunch. I added once and ate it without it once. Go dig in while its still warm. Its delicious and you will want to make it soon in quick succession.

This corn platter actually visually depicts the difference in American and Indian corn. At the tip are the pearly white Indian corn kernels placed inside and the yellow American corn is the porcelain platter design.

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