Sunday Brunch: Gobhi Paranthas

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

Continue reading “Sunday Brunch: Gobhi Paranthas”

Getting ready for Divali with multigrain waffles

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

Continue reading “Getting ready for Divali with multigrain waffles”

Scones for Afternoon Tea

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! Continue reading “Scones for Afternoon Tea”

Sourdough Bread

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 away on a 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
Continue reading “Sourdough Bread”