mostly about food and cooking, but also the stories about the Bread and the Butterflies!

Archive for September, 2008|Monthly archive page

Simply Italian

In Eggs, Under 30 min!, Vegetarian on September 22, 2008 at 8:16 pm

pasta bianca
Comfort food. Different things to different people. But always disarmingly simple. A few ingredients, a basic recipe, but the final outcome is something that satisfies a craving that nothing else will. A dish that wraps you around your home, your family, your culture, and many times, around the various stages of personal growth.

I am always drawn to such fare – what people cook on a regular basis in their kitchens, curious about what fits the bill for others. For many a Kashmiri it will have to be haak-baateh (braised haak greens served over rice), the equivalent of what dal-chaval is to a lot of other Indians.

When Meeta asked us to cook authentic Italian I became curious about Italian comfort foods…

Nothing says Italy like its food, and nothing says Italian food like pasta.

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In Random Musings on September 22, 2008 at 11:10 am

fresh pasta
I am determined to cook this for lunch... and tell you about it too.  Promise.

You could call it Kootu, I suppose

In Low Fat, south Indian, Under 30 min!, Vegetables, Vegetarian on September 14, 2008 at 10:05 pm

At the end of a more-than-full work day we all deserve to put our feet up and get the much needed rest.  Recharge our batteries.  Good wholesome food contributes much to this recharge.  Many of us also admit to the therapeutic qualities of the act of cooking itself!


Roth – the baked kind. Crusty, you think?
This is my entry for the September edition of Click! the photo event at Jugalbandi.

The last couple of weeks have been more fast paced than ever for me.  Work, work related travel, sister’s visit, Ganesh Chaturthi and the Pun Pooza, and the continuing house renovation, all came to a head. As if I didn’t have enough on my plate already, the maid had to make a sudden visit to her hometown – an extended three week visit.  Which isn’t so bad actually.  Now I can multitask – plan the meal as I brew my evening cup of tea, have all the burners going and cook the veggies as I temper the dal, or roll out roti, and not have to deal with less-than-perfect food prep.  Much better.

Last night, after a grueling 11 hour work day (when I was lucky to have two additional people helping out!) I knew I needed a special meal.  TH brought me a Toro Bravo while I was still at my desk.  It needed to be a rice-night (that means, rice as the main starch for me), I could tell. Nothing short of the comfort of good old Kashmiri food would do.  Though it was late, I prepared dum aloo along with my nani’s special mung dal and served it with steamed rice (and roti – for the undiscerning).

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…in the time of Mad Parties

In Tea Party on September 8, 2008 at 11:06 pm

Butterfly in my garden
Yes, I know, I have been a terrible hostess.  Terribly busy.  It’s nice to have time to flit about and smell the flowers.  Just like this butterfly.  Yet, she is also hard at work.  So, here I am, working hard and making time for the party.

Thank you, all, for so graciously making the time for this quirky party.  I know how busy all of you are.  Once again the deep fried goodness claimed new territory and a good time was had.  Indulgence with friends and family is at the heart of the party, not deep-frying necessarily.  In fact, some of us here managed to deep fry with so little fat that the goodies ended up very much as health food on all scales!

There were traditional batata vadas, the fusion ones, and then the pop-culture guys and gals.  Some thought certain versions to be almost verging on blasphemy, but like a happy family, we agreed to disagree.  All very amicably, of course.  There were the early risers, and those who arrived fashionably late… Essentially, the batata vadas seemed to have borrowed a little from the cooks, and developed distinct personalities of their own – the purist, the rebels, the naughty, the fastidous, the crazy, and the lazy (you’ll have to guess on your own, can’t link for all).

Take a look at the loaded table – and spot the different ones!  It was a pleasure to have all of you over!

In the order of appearance:

Purva (Purva’s Vada Pav)
Cynthia (Potato Balls – from the Caribbean!)
Sheetal (Heirloom Batata Wada – her great grandmother’s recipe)
Laavanya (Potato Bonda – the Southie version)
Raaga (Potato Bonda – another Southie version)
Aparna (aloo-methi bonda and a grilled sandwich!)
Meera (Gujju Bateta Vada – Vada Pav)
Farzana Anjum
Yours Truly (Batata Vada) – party-size recipe
Trickster Jai (Psychedelic Cocktail Bondas – chockful-of-health version, naturally – as if they could be healthier…)
Meera (Indori Alu Vada)
Bhagyashri (Batata Vada)
Anjali (Vada Sambar – imagine that!)
Shilpa (soya batata vada – another one who loved Jai’s frying trick)
Manasi (Batata Wada)
Meeta (Vada Pav, in a matter of speaking 😀 )
Manisha (self-proclaimed authentic-Bombay Batata Vada) and a lecture
Priya (used her appam pan to make Party Pavs)
Pel (Aloo Bonda sandwiches)
Indosungod (Potato Bonda)
Musical’s Batata Vada

Thank you, all, for making this another memorable Mad Tea Party. Who would have thunk there could be so many kinds of batata vadas?! And more than one way to fry!

PS: This has been in the drafts for a few days… Too many things this past weekend – in addition to the usual suspects there was shopping, feasting, celebrating, and a longish visit to the ER for good measure (the little nephew is doing fine now).  All’s well that ends in a Party!