Thursday, September 28, 2006

Things My Parents Say

Like all long-married couples, my parents too have millions of complaints against each other. My favourite one remains my parents most scornful dismissal of each other, when they are mad with each other and often, as if its a fresh insight into their 33 years-ago-married spouse, "Beta! I hate to say this, but your father/ mother has essentially a FEUDAL attitude!"


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Caesar Salad Obsession - Flurys

Well! The title says it all. I love Caesar salad and I love Flurys. Flurys does a decent one and this is how it normally looks. The paprika powder is sprinkled in my honour because the manager knows my sister and knows by now I love hot food. I get impeccable service at Flurys because (i) my sister knows the manager (she was his super boss v v v v long ago, but not at Flurys) (ii) I am a v good tipper and I er... eat a lot.

Anyway, so the Caesar salad is pretty decent and this is how it looks.
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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Stuffed Green Peppers

These days I am on mission "clean the fridge". I bought these peppers (actually lots of these peppers) last-to-last Sunday, cleaned them, put them in a ziplock and forgot all about them until last Sunday. Like an idiot, I bought 2 varieties, Long ones and ones that were smaller. I don't know what these peppers actually are called, but we get them once in a while and the smaller ones are pickled in UP and Rajasthan (North and Western India).

Anyway, the recipe - Another thing, I am incapable of giving precise measurements, because I don't cook that way, so one needs to er.. follow instinct.

Peppers (If you are an idiot like me, you'll take 18)
Gramflour or besan (enough to stuff 18 peppers - maybe 6 tbsps)
Salt - to taste
Chilli/ Paprika powder - 0.5 - 2 tsps depending on the amount you can handle
Coriander powder - 3 tsps
Aniseed/ Saunf - 1 tsp
Oil - I use peanut or sunflower
Amchoor (dried mango powder) - 1 tsp (I suppose one can also use lime juice)

To prepare the Stuffing -

Take a griddle/tava, heat about a tablespoon of oil, crackle the aniseed, add the gramflour and keep roasting until a nutty smell emerges or it turns very light brown, add the salt, chilli powder, coriander powder, amchoor. Mix for another 3 mins, take off heat and cool. If the mixture is not sticky enough, add few drops of water and oil to make it into a mixture that is not wet, but rather grainy. I really should remember to take intermediate pictures, no? The stuffing should cool down completely before stuffing, my mom says because if it isnt it cooks the chillies from inside, though you do cook it afterwards, so I don't really understand why.


Remove the tops of the chillies/ peppers, deseed. Stuff the peppers/ chillies with enough stuffing to loosely fill the peppers, chillies. In a thick-bottomed shallow frying pan, heat some oil, arrange the peppers and lower the heat, cover and cook for 5 minutes, then turn gently and let cook for another 5 mins. When the peppers look like the pics below, they're done.

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I normally eat these wrapped in roti (chappati) and with yoghurt. One may also have them with hot rice and dal. Or, you can have them just on their own with ginger tea.

Update! I managed to remember to enter this for the Waiter, there's something in my... stuffed fruit/vegetables! event hosted by Jeanne of Cooksister, who's blog I have been reading for ages and planning to participate in the events, but would never remember to, because of my crazy schedules.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Sunday Lunch - Coconut Rice, Tofu and Eggplant

Ever since I have bought the Essential Asian Cookbook (published by Konemann) I have been cooking Asian food almost everyday, depending on what is in the fridge and what I can adapt.

These two recipes are also from the book and very simple to make. I, of course made substitutions, and so should you!

The Coconut Rice is very simple to make. Really. Almost Idiot-proof.

You need to fry some sliced shallots and ginger, then add curry leaf, turmeric powder, rice and fry for 2 mins, then add coconut milk (double the quantity of rice), salt, lower the flame, cover and cook until the rice is fully cooked.

This also is not too tough, depending on how much adaptation you are willing to make. I did away with the sweet-spicy sauce in the recipe and used plum sauce and chilli flakes. It worked for me. First, I fried the tofu golden brown, roasted the eggplant and burnt it. Those are the black bits you can see. Then you need to stir fry crushed garlic and grated ginger, add the plum sauce when the garlic and ginger are golden brown, and the chilli flakes, some fish sauce, the tofu and eggplant and cook it for another 3-4 minutes.

I suck at plating, so I don't even attempt it. I topped the coconut rice with boiled egg, fried onions (that you can't see too well in the pic), cucumber and chilli soaked in vinegar as recommended in the book and this was really a complete meal in itself.

The eggplant-tofu required just some chopped green shallots. I ate it with the coconut rice but it would have tasted better with plain steamed rice. However, on its own it had a sweet, hot, smoky flavour and the eggplant and tofu textures complemented each other really well.
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Sunday, September 03, 2006


Mother is vindicated today. I was gushing about how easy it was to pick up the ghazals, and she was like the cat that had stolen all the cream and was all about, "I told you so!"

My classes of today are so different from my classes of 15 years ago. My teacher is actually supportive and explains whatever I want to know and I don't have a language problem with her. Nice!