Sunday, May 30, 2010

Distance makes the heart grow fonder

Kids can get onto my delicate nerves in a matter of seconds but when they are away the house seems strangely quiet. No fight overs the remote, computer or messy rooms.

My kids have been visiting their Grandparents. They do it every summer and all of us( Kids, Grandparents and we) eagerly look forward to the same for varied reasons. The boys are getting back today and I have spent a part of my morning making some of their favorite dishes. I have made the 5 cup ice cream( scroll down for the recipe; one of my earliest posts) with mango( added an extra dash of cream), also made some Raspberry jelly . For some strange reason kids just love jelly. My early memories of jelly is having it together with custard at an aunt's place in Delhi. It was also our first big holiday all the way to Kashmir. Every evening after our 'sight- seeing' tour we would land up at this aunt's place. Dessert was always custard with jelly, I loved the combination. Most people who have grown up in the 70's would recall custard as the standard home-made dessert- fast to cook and good to eat. Today I hummed the ad line which went " jolly jelly for your belly" as I stirred the jelly. I have set it in a ring mold though I rarely manage to upturn it right. I envy people who can do this feat with ease. I plan to serve the jelly plain. Kids typically gobble it up in seconds.

Had also been shopping this morning and have picked up some sponge cake and muffins. I store them in the refrigerator(makes portion control easier) and then warm them up for about 40 seconds before I serve them( picked up this tip from a foodie friend). The taste is just like the oven fresh ones.

Watched an interesting show called " Do it sweet". All those sweet toothed readers are going to love the show's tag line, it goes " If you have to cheat, do it sweet". Watched the gorgeous Maria Coretti( host on the show) wolf down cream filled French toast. I must of course keep miles away from all things sweet and satiate my desires my cravings virtually.

Have picked up Roopak Shikanji Masala. Shikanji is big in Delhi during the summers. I have also stocked up on Rooh Afza and Thandai Mix. Though it did rain last evening and the mercury has dropped a few notches. But I am not taking any chances.

Happy eating!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Back from my hibernation

I am blogging after a long break. Meanwhile I have been experimenting with new recipes and improvising on some of the older ones.

I now marinate my meat(refer traditional mutton curry) with whipped curd, salt and turmeric powder and leave the marinade in the refrigerator for about 4/5 hours(thank you sis for that tip). The curd tends to tenderize the meat and gives the gravy a nice rich color. I skip the tomatoes.

Learnt a new mango based dip. Take a tbsp full of mango chutney( I used a home made one), add about 2 tbsp of thick curd/hung curd and a handful of mint leaves( we now grow mint in our little balcony garden and I just love the smell of fresh mint leaves). Blend it together and your dip is ready. The dip has a nice khatta-meetha taste( just cannot translate this bit into English, won't sound the same). Curd also gives it a nice texture( this recipe is courtesy my Momma). The dip has an unusual green color. I have served it alongside blanched veggies, also topped a few Monacco( this one will never go out of fashion despite fancier crackers being available today) biscuits with leftover alu paratha filling and then a dollop of the dip, yumm!

My morning routine now includes making milkshakes and yoghurt shakes for the kids. 1 cup of ripe chopped mangoes, a glass of chilled milk, a scoop of fig and honey ice-cream(vanilla would be the best with a neutral flavor but I am left with a big tub of fig and honey icecream- reusing leftovers), a dash of honey( if your kids like their shakes sweet or if the mango is not too sweet). Put it all in the mixie and run the mixie for 2/3 minutes. Served chilled garnished with chopped nuts( this bit just makes the recipe sound nicer, I usually skip this step).

With yoghurt I have tried mango lassi(nice), plan to try a fruit(banana, cherry, figs, mango), sesame seeds, flax seeds, honey, soya milk, vanilla icecream and yoghurt shake( watched it on Active cooking and it looked really nice- though I do feel you need way too many ingredients for this one but as a one dish drink/system retriever as the more evolved chefs would say it should do)

Had some leftover pineapple bits( after making pineapple and cheese), strung them together with olives on toothpicks and they tasted quite nice( or so said my polite friends).

Also made Kimchi by blanching cabbabge for about 30 seconds( just for that raw smell to go) and adding some Thai sweet chilli sauce to it. Serve chilled.

So it has really been a lot of assorted stuff that I have tried out in these last few weeks. Havesampled some amazing satay( Yo! China), chicken clay pot( again Yo! China; served minus the clay pot; the takeaway version is served in an ugly plastic container but tastes good nevertheless, has a lot of finely chopped vegetables), thandai(Haldiram), Choco lava cake( Dominoes), thin crust Pizza( again Dominoes) etc.

Bon apetite and happy cooking!

P.S: I also cooked some real easy Mediterranean chicken and Bhanga Besara( loosely translated broken fish in a mustard gravy). Shall post these shortly. Cheers!