As someone who loves a good meal, cooking one, came to me as a natural passion. I belong to a family where meal times consisted of not just food, but also noisy conversation centered around the events of the day and discussing the menu for the next. (ah yes, we are a greedy lot! )

For the most part of my life so far, my contribution in the kitchen was assisting mom and my duties were limited, to chopping veggies and laying the table. Then along came the great Indian wedding, and I was suddenly the queen of my very own kingdom. My curiosity about this magical world, coupled with an enthusiastic sous-chef (my husband, Vineet), led me to take on the challenge of preparing meals on a daily basis, and not succumbing to the convenience of hiring a cook.

This blog is a product of my experiments with food (not all are life threatening :D) for my fellow culinary enthusiasts - especially the newly weds and hungry bachelors and is dedicated to the women who've inspired me in the kitchen;
Aji (s),Ma and Nigella Lawson.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Baingan bharta with Dahi + Koshimbir

(Serves 02 persons with moderate appetites)

This is the maharastrian answer to the traditional north Indian baingan-bharta. Light on the stomach and healthy in every way, this one is worth a shot especially during the summer months.

1 Large Baingan (aubergine)
1 large onion - finely chopped
Coriander - 1 handful - finely chopped
1 1/2 cups Dahi (plain yogurt)- chilled
Handful of chopped coriander
For Tempering (tadka) : 
Heat 2 tbsp oil + 1 pinch asafoetida (Heeng) + 1 tbsp Jeera (cumin seeds) + 1 green chilli chopped into 1/2" pcs + 1 small pinch turmeric. (be careful of chillies splattering)

1.) Rub a tsp of oil/ ghee all over the washed baingan and roast on an open flame. Peel and mash into a bowl.
2.) Add the chopped onion, coriander and dahi and mix well.
3.) Make the tempering and add into main bowl. Garnish with chopped Coriander.
4.) Tastes best when served with hot roti's.

KOSHIMBIR : Ingredients
1 Medium Onion - finely chopped
1 large Tomato - finely chopped
1 cucumber - cut into small cubes
1 Small green chilli- finely chopped 
Handful of Coriander leaves - chopped
Handful of Mint leaves - chopped (optional)
2 tsp Lemon juice
1/2 tsp black pepper powder
Salt/sugar as per taste

Mix all chopped veggies into a bowl. Add the lemon juice, pepper, salt, sugar and toss. 
Yes, its as simple as that. 
This 'koshimbir' is perfect to get your dose of raw vegetables and also adds wonderful colours to your plate. It is strongly recommended with spicy gravies and Biryani's.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Of Manic Mondays, Tuesdays , Wednesdays.....

Planning a different breakfast for each day of the week, for the easily-bored, always-in a hurry-eater is a daunting task for the rookie cook... Our mothers innovated breakfast and reinvented it by using up leftovers, and making sure we sustained on what we ate until lunch-time.

Not all of the recipes are fancy and complicated - some are plain common sense, but on days when you cant think of what to make, they'll give you some ideas and a ready list of groceries, or might just help you figure out how to to deal with leftovers.

Enough with the chat, and on with the mission!

(Serves 02 persons with moderate appetites)

QUICK SUB: Ingredients
2 soft boiled eggs - sliced
8 strips bacon rashers (can be substituted with chicken salami)
1 medium tomato - sliced
2 slices of cheese (optional)
6" long Baguette aka French bread ( i had left overs) /OR/ Simply toast 4 slices of bread

1.) Grill / Fry 8 strips of bacon rashers. Drain onto a paper towel.
     Meanwhile, Soft boil 2 eggs. Peel. Slice lengthwise into 4 pcs.
2.) Slice the baguette and assemble the sandwich with the bacon / sliced eggs/ tomato/     cheese. Stick it into the oven to grill if you feel like you have the time for it...and get     on with the juice.

1 1/2 cups orange juice ( i like the one with the pulp)
4 nos. fresh strawberries
2 tbsps honey / sugar

Just stick everything into the blender and give it a quick whirl!
The Vitamin C laden goodness will zap the sleepiest eyes open!

(Serves 02 persons with moderate appetites)

This quick breakfast took just 10 mins to put together this morning. I made this using Papaya and fresh Prunes (since that is what I had in the fridge), but you can use any combination of fruits for this one - Mango / Pear/ Guava / Grapes / Banana / Strawberries / Kiwi / Apples / Pineapple/ Melons (although I avoid mixing watermelon with a pulpy fruit - because it tends to make the fruit mix watery and soggy) etc. I also like sprinkling sunflower seeds/ pumpkin seeds over the fruit*.

Honey-mint dressing: (to drizzle over 1 medium bowl of fruit)
2 tbsp Honey + 1 tsp lemon juice + 1/2 tsp Salt + chopped mint (as required)

1.) Chop fruit into bite-sized cubes + Pour honey-mint dressing over it. Toss gently.
2.) EAT!

* Sunflower and Pumpkin seeds are powerhouses of vitamins, calcium and potassium. Sprinkle these over salads for a nutty-crunchy flavour.... One packet of each will go a long way. Google will help you find more detailed descriptions about health benefits.