Food (53) Fitness (10) Nature (7)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Rasgulla fiction

Hey everyone.. Another food fiction today. This story was written for the event "Of Chalks and Chopsticks" started by Aqua, hosted by Jaya, the Desi Soccer Mom this month.


I have made Rasgullas before and posted the recipe in the past. So am referring to my earlier post for the recipe. When I made Rasgullas the first time, we were about 7 people and only 15 Rasgullas. 2 gullas per head were just not enough! These are so light and fluffy, one could easily wolf down quite a few at a time. And that memory is what generated the little piece of fiction that follows. 

The story of Vividh-bhaarthy Paarthasaarthy..

Vividh-bhaarthy Paarthasaarthy came from a long line of musically inclined Paarthasaarthies. Vividh-bhaarthy's family was filled with singers and musicians. Her twin-brother was a child-prodigy, the first haarmoniumist to play at the super-bowl opening ceremony!

Vividh-bhaarthy, however, was the odd one out. She had no musical talent, nothing to boast about. All her life, she had tried and she had tried-er.. but the gift of music was just not inside her.

Finally Vividh-bhaarthy had had enough, she said, "Bas kya!" and set out to the mountains to do ghor tapasya (penance). After many days and many nights of Viv standing on one foot, a Rishi (sage) appeared before her (clean-shaven, kind-of-cute.)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Chana Pulav

Hey everybody.. this is chana-pulao from the house of Indosungod!

  Fig. 1. Chana Pulav

There was this big potluck I had to go to.. yes, Nupur's potluck at One Hot Stove. Couldn't possibly miss it now, could I? And I'd had my eye on this pulav for a while now. So this was the perfect opportunity to make it!

One of the very first few times I officially cooked on my own was actually for a potluck! :) It was a potluck at a friend's friend's friend's place! I was staying with some friends. So when they were invited, so was I! Now, how could I show up empty-handed? So what if I had no kitchen of my own! I got some chicken and one large onion and made ginger chicken with some leftover takeout-soy-sauce packets in my friend's kitchen. :)

Potlucks are a lot of fun. Diwali potluck, Christmas potluck, Happy-Budday potluck, Sunday potluck, No-reason potluck, there is always scope for a potluck. We have a potluck... we call 4 friends. They end up calling 2-3 friends of their own just cos they were planning to meet them anyway. It's a potluck. If you bring food, then you are totally invited! :) Keep it casual, keep it easy, play a game or two, put on some Incredibles to occupy the kids..

If I host, then I have to play it slightly safe. Something like this chana pulav, a dal, one vegetarian side-dish and raita is what I make. That covers all my basic food groups (just in case all the guests end up bringing only soda or only desserts.. No, sugar is not a food group.) ;) And yes, I never make dessert for potlucks that I host. I keep some icecream or a can of gulab jamuns as backup. Almost always altleast one of the guests brings a dessert. ;)

Now, on to Indo's chana pulav.. I modified her recipe to use a can of chick-peas, a microwave and some minor-shortcuts.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Jeera (Cumin) Powder

Hey everyone.. a simple basic spice powder.

Fig.1. Jeera (Cumin) Powder

Just spread out some jeera (cumin) seeds on a flat plate. Heat in the microwave for a few minutes, stopping, re-spreading and mixing the jeera every now and again. In 5 minutes or less, your jeera will become very fragrant. Let it cool down. Then grind it to powder in your favorite mixer/grinder. Store in an airtight jar.

This can be done for any of your generic spice powders, ex: coriander (dhania) powder, etc etc.

If you think this is easy.. you are right. It is easy. :)

But is it too easy to be put on the blog? Doesn't matter.. I put just about anything on my blog! Pip-pip-cheerio! :)

Update: I just realized that there is an on-going event which is perfect for this kind of a post about basic kitchen skills! So this post goes to the Back to Basics event started by Jaya and hosted by Aqua this month. While we are on basics, check out last month's round-up.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Fried Fish

Hey everyone.. very simple and basic fried fish today..

Fig.1 Fried Fish

A really quick and easy dish that never fails to turn an otherwise simple meal into something quite special.

If I find good, fresh looking fish, I often end up buying it regardless of what my cooking-time-crunch situation is. Because the following marinade hardly takes 7 minutes: Wash the fish, poke slits in it and chop into somewhat medium sized pieces. Add salt, red chili powder, turmeric, ginger-garlic paste, amti powder or any garam masala. Mix well so that fish is well coated in the spices. Let the fish marinate in the refrigerator overnight. Then next morning, portion it into small batches and freeze them in a ziplock bag.

When it is time for dinner on one of your more frenzied days, make something super-fast, say, just dal-rice or re-heated leftovers. And defrost one batch of marinated fish. Roll each slice of fish in some semolina (rava), and shallow fry on a pan with a tiny bit of oil. The side of fried fish is guaranteed to be the highlight of your otherwise ordinary quick-fix dinner. If you are even more crunched for time, this fried fish also goes really well like a "fish patty" inside an ordinary sandwich with green chutney and tomatoes or leafy greens.

Update: Being my favorite way of eating fish, this post goes to Aparna's event "My Favorite Recipe!"

Have a good week, everyone!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Carrot Soup

Hey everyone.. Carrot Ginger Soup today from Suma's Veggie Platter..

Fig. 1. Carrot Ginger Soup

I always have carrots in the refrigerator. So am always looking for ways to use them up. I have made a carrot soup in the past with garlic seasoning. This version is similar. But the switch to ginger makes it taste quite different, so it was a good variation for us. For more carrot recipes, I would also check out Suma's Carrot Round-Up.