Here’s to the old…

I hope it has been a good year for all of you. If it’s been a mixed bag, as most years are, you’ll find yourself looking back at it with much nostalgia soon enough. The past has a way of turning rosy.

There was much that was good with this year for me too. Even though I slowed down in the frequency of my posts, it was always fun to discuss with you, dear reader. I have to admit that you are the best part of blogging! After each post, I eagerly await your response. Since I usually post in the night, checking the comments is the first thing I do next morning, with my morning cuppa by the side. For some of the posts there is as much information in the comments as there is in the post… even if occasionally the discussion gets off topic ๐Ÿ˜‰ .

gifts yay!
Thanks to some of you I got to taste many new flavours this year – some quite exotic!

Thanks to this blog I have made new friends at an age I never thought it possible; friends with whom I have found much in common, and much to learn from. What did The Learned One say about surrounding yourself with smart people? …some of it will rub off on you. So true.

hot chocolate

I am late for Nupur’s event: Best of 2007, but I do want to do the roundup… Come along, grab some hot chocolate (while it is still snowing here) like I did, let’s walk the year again together…

My ten favourite posts (and recipes) from 2007:

Food Glorious Food got us thinking about some of the foods we deny ourselves in an attempt to eat healthier. I was trying to work through the myths and realities of food habits for us in India and how they might be, adversely, getting impacted by research applicable primarily to the West. It somehow, eventually led to a poori frying festival! At that moment, I think the blog did take on a life of its own. I hope it was a welcome change of pace for all of us.

A Delhi Summer – on the Streets is amongst my absolutely favourite posts so far. It was also the longest in writing but, again, I enjoyed every bit of that. It is not easy to put the essence of a city like Delhi in one post; there were many false starts and much virtual paper made it to the virtual trash. I hope I managed to give you a little peek into the heart of Dilli.

With my trip to Bangalore-Belgaum, I continued to discover Indian cuisines further. Belgaum was as enchanting as North Karnataka food was delicious. I found new ingredients, teppal, kale vatane, and Byadgi mirchi amongst them, that I hope to use to create new favourites. The post touched a chord somewhere and made many of you wistful.

It is hard to pick favourite recipes. All the recipes featured on this blog are family favourites. What I will list are recipes have been added to the list this year.

All summer long, as long as the gavar season lasted, I cooked Spicy Nutty Cluster Beans once every week. The recipe was arrived at after much discussion over at Manisha’s when she sung praises of kanda-lasun masala again and again, which I had no access to. She helped deconstruct the masala, albeit over a couple of recipes.

Marag turned out to be another hit. It is not easy to sway my son from his Kashmiri leanings where meat is concerned (especially when compared to mutsch and rogan josh, he usually concludes anything else to have been a waste of the meat ๐Ÿ˜€ ), but he loved this preparation of soupy lamb. Thank you Nabeela, and Manisha for this new addition to our favourites.

Another regular at our table was Indira’s spinach-dal. At last I had a recipe very close to the dal that is always a part of the thali at Andhra Bhavan, which we patronize regularly. An easy quick recipe for a one pot combination of greens and lentils; all you need with it is steamed rice.

June is the month of birthdays at my house. For my son’s birthday I made the Lemon Chiffon Cake that was every bit as light as the name suggests. It was topped by a decadent chocolate fudge icing that was quick to put together. This definitely was my best cake ever and will be featuring at many more birthdays from now on.

Given the limitations of the flour types that can be found easily in India it can be a bit of a challenge to bake great bread that is also nutritious. I have been quite successful with my 50-50 combination of atta-maida (whole wheat roti flour-refined flour) with pizza and dinner rolls, but a whole wheat loaf that was also soft and light was elusive. Until I came across a recipe that had promise – and I made my amazing Whole Wheat Potato Bread. We all nodded approvingly. The bread was so soft I had to wait till next morning to slice it!

In September, I met a lot of family at my cousin’s Big Fat Kashmiri Wedding. I hope you enjoyed what was only the tip of the iceberg. ๐Ÿ˜‰

And if Manisha is talking about paaysam, I have to mention my Kheer in the best of 2007 for obvious reasons. It is the last word on Kheer, no? Besides, it does make up a third of all Kashmiri sweet dishes there are!

Thanks for coming to the Mad Tea Party and making it fun.


35 thoughts on “Here’s to the old…

  1. He! He! You had to get your kheer in as the last word, didn’t you?! It’s been a fun year! I love that 70% Lindt. After eating 70% chocolate, truffles taste way too milky. Let’s not even talk about milk chocolate! Your mutsch was a huge hit with us. It’s high time I made it again. And, I made your pitas today with whole wheat flour and bread flour. Soft! And they puffed up like a charm in the oven. The only tough part was the kneading cos I don’t have a Kitchen Aid and my hands are rather weak! So much less of a clean-up, too, compared to rotis. I have frozen about 5 and have 5 more ready to be pulled out for tomorrow’s meal.

    I made haak your way but with regular spinach and added some ver masala. The juices were to die for! And we tschur-tchoted for breakfast, too! Thank you for introducing me to authentic Kashmiri Pandit cuisine!

    Oh…and apparently there are other uses for Altoid…just saying…

    Everything Kashmiri she tried…except the kheer! ๐Ÿ™„

    I looked up the other uses… ๐Ÿ˜†

    Thanks for reading, Manisha, and using this space. It wouldn’t be the same without you.

  2. ehmm…good one Anita…Wish you a very happy new year!

    btw..I do hope you will find time to post on that you know what!

    Yes, yes. The pics are canned, just waiting to catch the second bakra…. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. What a great round-up! I was almost relieved to read that first post you mention here: as in, thank goodness for one person with common sense and articulate enough to put it down in reasonable words. You are a shining light in this world of faddists ๐Ÿ˜€

    Thanks for including the straggler…and for these wonderful encouraging words!

  4. You forgot Baingan ki Boorani :O . That was my fav. Happy new year, Anita!

    Each and every recipe here is a favourite, and that is the truth!
    Happy New Year to you too, Suganya.

  5. Dear Anita, thank you for another great year. All the best of the New Year to you and yours, dear writer!

    And how nice to have you here, dear reader!

  6. It’s been a great year reading and learning so much from your posts; thank you so much for sharing!

    If ever there was a madder reader of this blog … ๐Ÿ˜€ Thanks for visiting, Pel.

  7. I have enjoyed this mad party ever since I discovered this blog… Happy New Year Anita, and thanks for all the great posts this year..

    Thanks for reading, Sig! Some of the effects may have been a direct consequence of that imli-martini ๐Ÿ˜‰ .

  8. Dear Anita,

    I have been reading your blog posts since you sent me the link to it. Each time I read it, its like talking to an old friend. Remember how many times we had lunch together at SPA, along with the rest of the gang. Little did I guess that you would blossom into such a wonderful blog! Next time I visit India, I shall meet you. Keep the good work going.

    With warm regards,

    ๐Ÿ˜€ I am so happy to know at least one person from the old gang is reading this! Yes, let’s make sure to catch up the next time you are here.

  9. Happy New Year to you and your loved ones, Anita. Really yummy reads, all of them! The first post is not only yummy, its very honest too. And how you tempted us with your description of Delhi summers and i especially loved the “mere paas phalsa hai” punchline ๐Ÿ™‚

    What i love best about this space is that i feel so comfortable here…..i feel myself, i just so love that fact about your Mad Tea Party! Its food, the way its meant to be, with all the stories and fun chit-chat at the dinner table.


    …tempted with them pooris too! ๐Ÿ˜†
    Thanks for being a regular at the table, Musical! Music is such a great accompaniment to food; creates the right ambience!

  10. Each of your posts has been a delight to read, so it would be tough for me to nominate any favourites there….A very happy healthy prosperous new year to you and your family dear friend.

    Hope to see lot more on your blog this year.

    Surely the one that made you fry?! ๐Ÿ˜† Thanks for the wishes, Nandita. You are amongst the earliest readers who welcomed me with your encouraging words.

  11. i think the politically correct phrase would be mentally unsound tea parties.

    If I were to pick one thing that I got absolutely right, it has to be the name for the blog! And political correctness has no place here!

  12. Happy new year, Anita! Thanks for your wonderful posts, and I look forward to many more in 08.

    PS – Love the snow falling on your blog page – it will likely be the only snow I see all year!

    Thanks for reading, Carolyn. It’s pretty cold here at the moment, nearly freezing, but this is all the snow I am going to get too…and it will disappear at midnight tonight. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  13. Your blog is indeedy a very welcoming place to sit down at, have something to sip, watch or join in with the insane banter that seems to be the trademark!

    Here comes the country bumpkin…don’t be fooled, dear readers…

  14. Dear Anita,

    I discovered your website sometime in the middle of 2007 and since then have been a regular visitor. I have enjoyed it immensly, not just the recipes (which always turn out wonderful), but the fact that it makes for delightful reading. Here’s wishing you a very happy new year and hope that this continues for a long long time.

    Thanks for reading, Shalini. And also for letting me know so! Happy New Year!

  15. A very Happy New year to you Anita ! Your blog has been a delight to read and I loved many of your posts. I have your bagel recipe bookmarked for one of these weekends. I made your chole last week and it was superb, so very different to the one I make, saved some of the masala for future use ๐Ÿ™‚

    A Happy New Year to you and yours too.
    I do that too with the masala – if I think I have more than what I need! Makes short work of chhole the next time around.

  16. Hi Anita,
    Wish you a very happy new year! I recently ran into your blog and am a regular reader. I have tried your gobi, garam masala and chole, they all turned out fabulous. You are so articulate in narrating your recipes that it makes it very easy to follow them. Please keep posting about your wonderful kitchen adventures ๐Ÿ™‚


    Welcome to the Mad Tea party, Meghana. New year wishes for you too. And, thanks for reading and testing the recipes in your kitchen. ๐Ÿ˜€

  17. U had a wonderful yr in posts.. my fav of urs was the delhi summer, the puri festival and the kasmiri mutsch.
    I can never eat puri without thinking of the blog fun we had!Happy new year!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Puri is not as bad as it is made out to be!

  18. bwautiful recap Anita!! I’ve been reading your blog a lot recently and look forward to all your delights ๐Ÿ™‚

    have a happy and healthy new year! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Happy New Year, Mansi!

  19. Anita,
    love your blog, frequent visitor but rarely comment.
    need some help/advice this time.
    so i finally made Kehwa yesterday after getting the tea leaves from india almost a year back!!!
    BUT the taste was not good to put it politely. it was bitter very kadva!! definately not like what my mom used to make when i was young. I put 2 cups of water and 1 spoon of tea leaves, put 2 spoons of sugar, 1 green elachi and 1 small stick of dalchini and in the cup some pieces of badam.
    what do u think? too many tea leaves? i want to try again but am hesitant because i don’t want to waste the tea leaves….very precious coming from india from mom ๐Ÿ™‚
    Happy new year to you.

    Hi, Sonali, and a Happy New Year to you too.
    Yes, looks like a case of too much – for one cup of tea you need just a pinch of tea leaves! Check here for a detailed recipe.

  20. Nov Waree mubarak anita! You had a great blogging year. How about a post on the delhi winters now. You can even make that trip to old delhi, just the right mausam during the day ๐Ÿ™‚

    You’re right about the weather! Or, maybe, I can wait till it gets a little warmer? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  21. Anita Happy New Year! You jolted me with your classic white bread post and its a friday night baking bug I now have :). I learn’t so much from you. Thank you dear. This is one of my favorite blogs.

    Thank you for testing the recipe! And you are our one stop place for everything koli! How much we have learned about people and places far away from Delhi.

  22. happy new year to you anita!! may your home be filled with blessings and more delicious goodies in your kitchen ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks, and warm wishes come your way too.

  23. Dearest Anita, it has been a pleasure meeting you and I have learnt so much from your posts. I look forward to more.

    A happy new year to you and your family.

    Happy New Year, Cynthia!

  24. Happy New Year, dear Anita! I look forward to your excellent posts in this year, too! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for the wishes, Maninas. And a Happy New Year to you too!

  25. let us .. all lovely readers give you an intresting task..

    in your next post ( if u you would like to take this as an intresting thing to do)… the first 20 commenters will give you an ingredient; and you make ( or give a reciepe) for something, just out of those!!

    what say?

    I would say yes if had only this blog and no life outside ๐Ÿ˜€ And recipes with 20 ingredients would challenge most iron chefs, I am but a home cook! Besides, some of the readers here are quite crazy, and some can’t be trusted! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  26. :||

    was that supposed to be mean>>??

    No, not mean, Abhishek. This is quite a Mad place (if you don’t already know this). Did you see what Manisha did with that idea – now where will I find octopus? (And Pel, thankfully, did not take up the offer!). Besides, I can’t really commit to a regular anything here… this place is quite unstructured, and best left like that. Maybe later…?

    But if there is something specific you would like to see here, just let me know. You could even e mail me.

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