Tuesday, January 18, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things.......

My initiation into the movie 'Sound of music' was through its songs. We had a record player back home and listened to the songs/heard the movie story, years before we actually got to see the movie.

I have watched the movie at least a dozen times since, at various life-stages. Love all the songs. They do bring back a lot of childhood memories..sixth floor apartment( in small town India we referred to them as flats) facing the sea, lovely sea breeze, curtains billowing and happy "us".

My favorites have changed over the years though. "Doe re me" when I was a little girl, " I am sixteen" during my teen aged years, " I have confidence in sunshine" sang this one in the shower before every exam, Edeilweiss when I felt pensive/melancholic. The only exception has been the song "Girls in white dresses...my favorite things" which has made me happy each time I have listened to it. Julie Andrew's enthusiasm is definitely infectious. You just can't listen to this song and remain sad.

Now that I am into serious cooking and active blogging. Here are some of my favorite "food things":
  • Home cooked meals:warm, nourishing, comfort food
  • Cooking with leftovers. Half your job is already done when you start cooking. Rehashing last night's Moussaka into Spaghetti bolognese, Chicken curry into a Sandwich stuffing or Rajma into a saucy dip gives me an instant high.
  • One dish meals: Quick, easy and nutritious. From everyday khichdis to exotic khao suey
  • The smell of baking: rich warm smell of vanilla and chocolate combined, uplifts the mood
  • Using soups to thicken gravies: good way to reuse soups. This one probably qualifies as cooking with leftovers
  • Fresh green salads: They look so colourful and appetising. Red( Bell pepper and cherry tomatoes), yellow(corn), shades of green( bell pepper, beans, cucumber, lettuce), orange(carrots)
  • No oil cooking: that is some guilt free indulgence
  • Pizzas: watching my children wait eagerly for the Pizza to bake and then devouring them, priceless
  • Food disguises that help you sneak a lot of veggies in: burgers, sandwiches
  • Dishes with exotic names: instant appeal
  • Soups on a cold winter day
When it comes to soups, Tom Yam is my favorite. The soup is characterized by its distinctive hot and sour taste and the fragrant smell of lemon grass. Until recently I used to either have this soup at restaurants or use a ready mix to prepare. This winter after a few attempts I seem to have come close to perfecting the taste( or so say my family who are very generous with their compliments).

Tom Yam Soup


Chicken stock: 4/5 cups(Prepare the chicken stock by pressure cooking 4/5 boney pieces of chicken with a quartered onion and some whole pepper. Strain.)
Lemon grass: 2/3 stalks( I now have a lemon grass plant and the fresh lemon grass gives the soup its characteristic smell/taste)
Lime juice: 2/3 tablespoons
Mushrooms: 5/6, sliced really thin
Galangal( Thai ginger): 1 inch, cut into small pieces( was thrilled to find it in a store, you could also substitute with regular ginger which is more pungent)
Boiled Shredded chicken or boiled prawns: 1/2 cup
Salt and pepper to taste
Chilli flakes: 1 tsp
Sugar: 1/4 tsp


Put the stock back on the pan. Add the rest of the ingredients to it and let it boil. Then simmer for 5 minutes.

Serve hot.

The soup has a hot and sour taste with citrus overtones. It is simply Yumm!

Bon Apetit and Happy Cooking!

1 comment:

  1. I like ur list of favourite things :) n tom yam soup. One of our favourites too!