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Archive for the ‘Bread’ Category

It’s time for some Deep Fried Bedmi Love

In Bread, Deep Fried!, Potatoes, Tea Party, Uttar Pradesh, Vegetables, Vegetarian on February 9, 2012 at 3:46 pm

The first month of this year is history already.  How time flies!

After some fumbling this season, old man winter got into his groove here in Delhi.  The weather has been at its frigid best for the past 6 weeks even though we celebrated Basant Panchami  (the fifth day of Spring) last Saturday.  I even poured myself a glass of kanji while preparing dinner the other day. But, the thaw has certainly started and if you blink the short Spring will be over.

In the fast pace of 2011 many celebrations got left out.  No one got a birthday cake :shock:.  The blog anniversary was overlooked since there was no time to come up with a theme, announce a party, or be a proper host to all of you.  But, it is always party-time at A Mad Tea Party where we celebrate food as just that – nourishment; food that satiates, the kind that engages all our senses.  Mindful eating without dissecting what is on the plate.

bedmi poori

One-dish-themed blog-events are now commonplace.  The poori-party might have been one of the first of that kind but it was quite by accident.  None of the subsequent celebrations were a patch on that first party.  From that party on, I have made a concerted effort to fry poories more often.  Every time the son visits for holidays, poori-bhaji features on the breakfast menu on one of the days.  Just the once maybe, but it is sure to be there.  Then, for Ram Navmi I indulge the little girl in me who misses doing rounds of the neighbouring homes to gather loads of prasad be part of the ritual to revere the goddess in all girls, by cooking poori, halwa, and kala chana.  That adds up to at least three poori-frying sessions a year!  And if there are friends or family visiting (and it is cool enough to fry in the kitchen) then it is likely they will get some deep fried love!

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Sunday Brunch: Gobhi Paranthas

In Bread, Punjab, Vegetarian on December 5, 2011 at 7:23 pm

Gobhi Parantha
A lot has happened in the past four weeks since my last post.  I am back to eating foods through the week that are usually reserved for weekends!

It’s not a very long story, actually.  Over the past few years I gave into TH’s helpful insistence on delegating more housework to the maid so that I had less on my mind and hands.  But that is more complicated than it sounds.

There are two kinds of people: those who like to have extra hands to do their work, and those who wish they could do without.  If you have a slight OCD regarding how you want things in your home and kitchen, you may have to start by teaching the maid everything.  And then you have to remind her constantly (about the same thing) in a kind of continuing education for her (which has nothing to do with your OCD).  If you can look the other way, then it is all fine and dandy.  I cannot.  I cannot drink out  of cups with the lightest tea-stain; I have to have my veggies cut exactly so; the rug centered, the doors shut, and the windows open.  All this takes supervision.  I mean, really super-vision!   One time I caught her about to chutney a roach along with the coriander!  I  don’t know how I saw from the corner of my eye what she could not while putting the ingredients in!  Enough to say that after that there was little chance of her being allowed to cook unsupervised.  To me it always felt as if the maid was in control of my time!

pizza dinner
Pizza dinner on Monday

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Getting ready for Divali with multigrain waffles

In Bread, Tea Party, Under 30 min! on October 21, 2011 at 8:34 pm

Divali is round the corner.  I always take some time off from work for this festival, usually the two days preceding it.  That gives us enough time to prepare a few of the traditional goodies.  My offerings are tame compared to the quantities and variety my mother-in-law used to make.  But it is also a smaller family now.  With the son away at college it is just TH, the father-in-law, and I.

This time I have an additional two days, the weekend, starting tomorrow.  I am hoping to translate this into more goodies; perhaps even try something new.  Thankfully, none of us have any diet restrictions, not even my octogenarian father-in-law!  I ordered the groceries today and my pantry is stocked.  Much is on the cards – the usual namakpare, shankarpare, paparia, sev, chakli, ladoo, and karanji for the day of Lakshmi pooja.  Like always, I am going to be making my own flour mix for chakli.  I will also get milled the mix I prepared (last year!) for thali peeth – the mix of lentils and grains is waiting for the right amount of rice to be added before it can be ground.  I am like that; not on top of all things in the kitchen.

multigrain waffles

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Scones for Afternoon Tea

In Bread, on the side, Tea Party, Under 30 min!, Vegetarian on September 5, 2010 at 10:24 pm

tomato and cucumber sandwiches

Have you been enjoying your afternoon tea with friends and family? I have been!

tomato and cucumberThis monsoon the rains have been really heavy and incessant.  Greens generally disappear from the shelves in this season as they spoil in less than a day.  Coriander becomes elusive and very expensive.   The Big Apple stores, thankfully, stock it in sufficient quantity.  But this Friday when I went to restock in the evening they were out and I couldn’t make the all-time tea-time Indian favourite – chutney sandwiches.  When we were kids no birthday party was complete without these. Instead, I had to settle for the other favourite – cucumber, tomato, and Amul cheese sandwiches! I brewed a large pot of tea just for myself (TH is a teatotaler), prepared the sandwiches (not all that dainty, it wasn’t an English tea after all) and had myself a jolly good time.

Today, my parents dropped by for lunch. I served them a most delicious vegetarian lunch which included Kerala-style bittergourds cooked in coconut milk with sour mango (this is now one of my favourite ways to cook karela!), a Maharashtrain style stir-fried bhindi (okra split along the length into two, and stir fried in oil tempered with rai seeds, hing, turmeric, and red chilli powder), pumpkin kootu (using Bee and Jai’s recipe for kootu podi), served with roti and rice. My parents thoroughly enjoyed their meal! As did I. Awesome. Even if I say so myself.

After a brief siesta we needed the afternoon cup. I served it with fruity scones. It was my first attempt at making scones and they turned out rather well. They were light, with a barely crusty bottom. Split, smothered with homemade jam (I served with the quince marmalade as well as this season’s mango jam) they were the perfect accompaniment to our afternoon tea! I recommend them wholeheartedly! Read the rest of this entry »

Sourdough Bread

In Bread, Vegetarian on July 11, 2010 at 11:15 pm

My best loaf!

It has been a busy summer in the office despite the short break from teaching.  The son is home after completing his first year of college.  No, I have not been busy cooking for him.  Young men who need not work through the summer prefer to spend long hours playing mind-numbing games on the Net.  This cannot be done during daylight hours because the computers are occupied by parents working to pay college fees.  Nights turn into days and days into nights (for the son) and we are lucky if we catch him at lunch.

It was good that we whisked him on vacation the moment he was home and managed some ‘quality’ time before he could react!  Around the same time my sister also visited us and it was great to extend the vacation and spend time together.  Even she was complaining that I haven’t been very regular with my blog posts…

grapes of summer Read the rest of this entry »

Caronde he Caronde

In Bread, Chutneys, From the Garden, Fruit, Low Fat, on the side, Preserves, Punjab, Tea Party, Under 30 min!, Vegetables, Vegetarian on July 19, 2008 at 12:25 am

caronde ki chutney

Please don’t mention Caronda* for some time…it is in every jar I had spare!  There is no room for any more pickles or preserves…As I mentioned last time, I made some caronda chutney a week ago, to use up part of my Dad’d harvest from a bush I planted about ten years ago in the front yard of their house.  I used the idea of a sweet-tangy Indian chutney such as saunth (sweet and sour tamarind chutney) or a mango chutney made with unripe mangoes.  The effort was much appreciated. Since it was a trial batch I got just enough to fill two tiny jars that I sent off to my mum and sister.  The next batch was a repeat of the recipe and this time the effort yielded a big jar – plenty, I thought.

There were still some carondas left which then went into a pickle, pits and all, along with some unripe mango, lotus root, and green chillies. I keep that stoneware jar in the sun, what little there is of it at this time, bring it in every evening, and give it a good stir.  It is looking good.

So far so good.  My mum liked the relish a lot.  She doesn’t eat too much pickle because of the high salt content.  I told her that pitting the fruit was a pain in the rear.  She pitted about a kilo with the help of her maid and presented it to me.  I had thought more like: ok, here’s a recipe you might like to try… But I came home and made my third batch of caronda chutney.  This batch had fewer ingredients – I had already used up my dates; no gur – I couldn’t be bothered; less sugar – I had used up a lot of sugar in the past couple of weeks between the caronda relish and the mango jam, and was making statements with big exclamatory marks regarding the sugar content of the chutney.  The fruit for this batch had ripened further on the plant, was a deeper pink, and there was a subtle change in texture too.  What a pretty pink it turned in the pan!  And the texture – why, it reminded me of sour cherries in syrup!  The slight crispness as you bite into one was so similar!  That made me Google for recipes using sour cherries and I found a bunch that hold promise for next year!  I make no promises…but there might even be Caronda Liqueur on these pages one day!

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Express Wholegrain Pancakes

In Bread, Fruit, Tea Party, Under 30 min!, Vegetarian on July 10, 2008 at 12:30 am

terrace in the rain
I think I have hibernated long enough.  And it is not even the season.  ‘Tis the season to be out and enjoy the rains – which, after it having rained most of May and all of June, have disappeared since we officially entered the monsoon season.  That’s the weather update for you.

A couple of weeks ago I was again confronted with two over-ripe bananas in the fridge – stored in the fridge so as to extend their pulpy lives further – and their demise looked nigh.  There were some other things in the pantry that needed to be used up before they turned bad.  Such as cornmeal from winter.  It will turn bitter unless I use it up soon. And we know how the Indian middle-class hates to throw out anything, especially food.

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These are a few of my new favourite things….

In Bread, Tea Party, Vegetables, Vegetarian on May 26, 2008 at 7:20 pm

kootu podi

Most of us get addicted to reading blogs before we get one of our own. I wandered into the food blog world one fine day looking for some variety in my daily cooking. Nothing fancy, just everyday cooking that would show new ways with the same old ingredients.

Here are a few that have been added to our list of family favourites, and have been cooked more than once in my kitchen. Tried and tested…

    cheese muffins

  1. Get your morning off to a good start with these scrumptious Pumpkin Cheddar Muffins from Manisha – (Indian Food Rocks)
  2. Pel’s (Elaichi et Cetera) scintillating Thai soup Kaeng Thom Yam, and Nam Prik Pao, the secret paste behind it.
  3. Bee and Jai’s (Jugalbandi) Kootu podi (spice mix for vegetables cooked with dal) from Southern India.
  4. Bhinda ni Kadhi – Gujarati okra kadhi (Spice Cafe).
  5. Bisi bele hulianna, a rice dish that was the essence of Karnataka cuisine to me (still is!) from Saakshi (Healthy Home Cooking), a serving of which can give you upwards of 20 varieties of food in one dish (including spices, of course)!

Check them out, if you haven’t already! Happy eating, and repeating! :D

THE Soup
Nam Prik Pao

The Old Faithful: Aloo Parantha

In Bread, Low Fat, Potatoes, Punjab, Vegetables, Vegetarian on May 11, 2008 at 2:48 am

aloo parantha

Usually, I love my time in the kitchen. More often than not, TH stays out, and is very appreciative of the food I put on the table (even when it is store-bought bread on days such as today when I am too rushed for even a 30-minute meal). But there are (many) days when I am not inclined to step into the kitchen at all.

One such day last year was my birthday. It is rather pathetic to have to cook yourself a special meal when it’s the perfect opportunity for others to show their love for a change. Yet, neither my son nor TH can be expected to bake a cake (not everyone is like Jai!). Every time I am not inclined to cook, the son is willing to order pizza and TH is only too happy to step out to get a fresh loaf of bread. But that day I insisted on a home cooked meal, and varan-bhaat was not going to cut it.

As it crawled towards dinner time and I showed no signs of getting off the couch, TH finally got the message and decided to grab the bull by the horns :D . Off he went into the kitchen and busied himself to prepare paranthas stuffed with my favourite vegetable – no prizes for guessing this time – potatoes. To bide my time till the paranthas were ready was a seasonal twist on my favourite drink – mango margaritas! Yes, he excelled himself.

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Buried under…

In Bread, Low Fat, Under 30 min!, Vegetarian on March 25, 2008 at 8:38 pm

buried under

This month I have been mostly…

…buried deep in work. I want so much to surface, get a breath of fresh air, and share my notes with you. But work takes priority; it does, after all, help pay the bills.

ragi idli

I have been eating healthy…mostly. Fresh cooked breakfasts had been sacrificed for the convenience of industrial bread…till the guilt caught up with me, and I decided yesterday that enough (of white bread) was enough. And how much work is idli, right?! Wrong. If you want sambar and chutney with it. Still, in about an hour this morning, much of which overlapped with my morning tea-and-newspaper-time, I had fluffy healthful ragi idlies! And there are leftovers for breakfast tomorrow as well! Read the rest of this entry »

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