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

Archive for the ‘Tea Party’ Category

The Perfect Flan: In the Kitchen with Manisha

In Desserts, Eggs, Tea Party, Travel on August 29, 2015 at 7:38 pm

At the Garden of the Gods

[Continued from the previous post]
The next morning Andrea graciously offered to drive us through the Garden of the Gods before dropping us off at Jim’s office downtown. Kristin was driving up from Denver to pick us up. She, her husband Paul, Jim, and I, had been classmates at KSU and later Paul and I ended up working together in Denver. Today they own a successful design firm that is doing impressive work in and around Denver. It was so good to note that not only were all of us make a living out of what we had trained to do but also that we loved doing it!

In Denver, Paul and Kristin took us down memory lane, literally. Together we drove to some of the once-familiar places including the little garage-unit at Corona and 11th (it had it’s own fractional address: 1125 1/2!) that had been my home, and the office at Cherokee and 11th. By the time we were through it was too late for a Japanese country-style lunch at Domo’s, which had been a favourite with the office bunch. So we went to Benny’s for Mexican instead – chimichangas and margaritas it was. Later we hung out at the City Center Cultural Complex with quick visits to the Denver Public Library, the Capitol Plaza, and the Denver Art Museum before catching the bus to Louisville from the all-new Union Station.
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Bake your own Burger Buns

In Bread, on the side, Tea Party, Vegetarian on May 11, 2015 at 4:48 pm

buns02

I don’t know about others, but I feel a sense of liberation when my maid calls her day off. My brain starts buzzing with plans of things I want to cook to make the most of her absence, dishes that I prefer prepping for myself even when she is there. It doesn’t include making roti. You’ll be surprised the lengths I’ll go to just to avoid cooking our daily bread. To keep me in good spirits Kumari, the maid, calls off often enough and I get to break the routine roti-dal-subzi meals. Like today.

In an ideal world, she’d take all Sundays off but I’m glad that she usually let’s me know ahead. This Saturday she informed me that she was planning to take Monday off. I started planning! 🙂 I finished off the leftovers last night. Today there will be pasta for lunch – the tomato sauce is simmering gently on the stove. I might fry some eggplant, if I feel inclined [later: I didn’t.]. Dinner is going to be vegetarian burgers with home-made buns. Lately, I have been on a pantry-cleaning mission and ingredients that have been around for a long time are getting special attention. Every bottle of spice, or blends, and every container of strange ingredients sitting around, is destined to be consumed before the summer is out. With the second fridge also chock-full, that might well be wishful thinking but I should certainly have a cleaned-out pantry before the year is out. Then I can look forward to stocking it up again with new ingredients from near and far.
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Foolproof Coffee Cake: Welcome 2015

In Baking, Eggs, Tea Party, This and That on January 15, 2015 at 7:04 pm

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Welcome 2015, with a quick coffee-flavoured cake.

All in all, 2014 was a good year.  Ani was home for some time.  When he left, it was to find his feet and spread his wings with more confidence – he got his first job!  I am now the mother of a gainfully employed young man.  We traveled a little.  The road-trip to Ladakh, a long time in planning, finally happened.  Vijay and I crossed another milestone together – we have been married 25 years now.  All of us, the extended family included, kept good health, which is the greatest blessing of all.

Ani Vijay 1992-93

The Boys – 1992

October 1989

October 1989

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Much Food and Talk

In Eating Out, Tea Party, This and That, Travel on December 21, 2013 at 3:34 pm

Teen Deviyan
The three of us at Ugrasen ki baoli, Connaught Place

Manisha, and A and N were here last week and what a food-packed week it ended up being!  I put work aside and for a whole week we just ate, talked with our mouths full, ate some more, drank a little, and walked a lot.  I focused on Kashmiri food at home and we ate out some, crossing off some of the better known Delhi-delights.

Kachori
Here it starts: kachoris and bedmi poori!

streets
The streets that offer daulat ki chat, the frothy, dew-kissed winter-morning dessert.

Manisha arrived on the last Saturday of November and A and N were here by noon the following day.  They barely got enough time to wheel their bags into the bedroom before we were off on our first foodie trip.  Reeta (Delhi Foodie’s Zone) had graciously agreed  to be our guide through the labyrinth of Old Delhi’s streets!  Read the rest of this entry »

Gathering Around the Table for Tea

In Tea Party, This and That on October 15, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Thank you for sitting down to tea with your special ones and taking a moment for yourselves. It was good to sit down to tea with some of the readers of this space. Winter is round the bend and it was good to cosy up with old friends.

Rameshwari and her two boys were the first ones at the table. They had bread and butterflies! They made all kinds of sandwiches: nutella, jam, spiced cheese, and carrot, and decorated with little hearts and diamonds of beets and cucumber! Using the cooker as a make-shift oven they even baked a chocolate cake! At their table was a caterpillar, a bunny, a robot, and sundry other characters. It was all washed down with some lemon-mint iced tea. What a crazy, Mad Tea Party they hosted!

Next was Of Curries, Sauces and Such with spicy jalepeno and pepperjack sconesShe was joined at the table by her husband as they enjoyed their tea and scones!

Jam tarts are synonymous with Alice.  I decided to finally try my hand at baking then.  I made tarts with lime marmalade, and mango jam.  I also attempted a recipe for a treacle filling with kakvi – liquid jaggery!  I served it with strong coffee for those who cared for it and the rest just drank water!  The tarts came together so quickly and with very little effort that I have promised to make them more often.  I always have jars of homemade jams in the fridge to use up!

Raaga, the Singing Chef, had the same idea and fought jetlag to bake some lovely jam tartlets!  It had to be jam, because it is not just any other day, but a special day for madness!  She too does the 50-50 trick with wheat flour and maida!

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Lime Cake for the Party

In Baking, Eggs, Tea Party on October 3, 2012 at 10:52 am

I sure botched up the invitation to the annual Party this time.  I published the announcement as a page and some of you missed it.  At least, that is the face-saving escape route I am taking.  It has been six years of blogging here.  In August.  Here I am updating an anniversary post more than a month late.  Like the White Rabbit in Alice, I am always rushing to wherever I’ve got to be.  As far as the blog in concerned, in any case.  I am never late for professional meetings or for my class.  Perhaps, I ought to set myself deadlines here as well.  But, won’t that make the blog more like work?  This is my space away from work.  Let’s keep it that way.  No deadlines; no stress.

lime cake with lime glaze

Even though I have slowed down here, the blog still manages between 800-1000 hits a day.  Some of those are from old-time readers and I cherish them.  New ones get added, some old ones drop out.  But, some, the really mad ones, stick.  And, this Party really is a celebration of that madness.  A welcome to new readers and a big thank you to the old ones – it wouldn’t be fun without you!

When the deadline for the event was extended for the late-comers (Manisha usually brings in the tail, and this time quite the tale she has!), I thought I ought to cook some more for the party.

September 28 was TH’s birthday and my sister urged me to not be my lazy self and bake a cake.  I too felt I ought to.  So after wrapping up a full day’s work in the office, I came downstairs determined to do something special for dinner where we would eat cake because I had no inclination to roll rotis. Read the rest of this entry »

Come to the Party!

In Tea Party, This and That on October 2, 2012 at 6:05 pm

A Summer Tea Party

Everyone is invited!

The rules for having yourself a Mad Tea Party are simple:

  • Cook one or more recipes inspired by Lewis Carroll’s famous Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, between Aug 21-Sept 8 Sept 22), write a post about it (with or without a recipe :D ).
  • Call a friend (or friends – the more the merrier) over for tea and have yourselves a party! If possible, include a picture of the Madness you enjoyed.
  • Too hot to cook? Go out and order a cup of tea and tarts (or whatever you fancy)! The portion will be right, and you won’t have to cook in this hot weather! Write a post about it, and how you really enjoyed that!
  • Link to this page, which will be updated to include all the entries. You may, if you like, use a Pingback and it will automatically show up in the comments here. Or leave a comment here which will lead us to your post!
  • Don’t have a blog? You can still join the party; just leave a comment here about how you had yourself an Alice inspired Mad Party!

(This was earlier published as a page and might have been missed by some!  Even though now too late to join this party, I am republishing it as a post)

Jam and Treacle Tarts

In Baking, on the side, Tea Party, Vegetarian on September 5, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Jam and Treacle Tarts

This weekend, I finally snapped out of my laziness and decided, after a long gap, to fire up the oven.  The extended rains have brought lowered the temperature enough to consider outside of subsistence food and I thought I might bake some tarts.

The pages of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland are replete with mentions and tales of much food.  Just as there is purpose to every word of fantasy and nonsense in Alice, it is there to the bits about food as well.  It is as much a tale of wonder for children as it a reflection of the times.  The frequent discussions about food in the story are but a contrast to the scarcity of food in Victorian times.  And, like most of us today, Alice too seems to rely on something to eat or drink to alter her size all the time!

Jam and Treacle Tarts

Jam and Treacle Tarts

In modern times we are equally obsessed with food but for different reasons.  We are constantly trying to put food in some category or another and then assigning a value to the food as well as to the diets they fit into.  Some foods, and some diets then get to be regarded as inferior/superior.  Whether a people are vegetarian or eat meat, has all come out of pragmatism and to put values on these seems ridiculous.  I have the same view of raw-food and similar such other diets.  A good diet for anyone is surely one they can stick to without harming themselves or others?  If you are going to eat the shark to extinction, then there is a problem.  For me, a good diet is also one that does not require me to analyse food excessively before I can decide if it fits into the way I ought to eat.  That would make shopping for food such a chore! Read the rest of this entry »

Of Treacle and Tarts

In Tea Party, This and That on August 21, 2012 at 1:33 pm

A Mad Tea Party is six!

I tried very hard to come up with an anniversary post.  I have a lot to say about how we deal with food and nutrition but I found I have said it and said it quite well already.  Please re-read Food, Glorious Food and we can get talking about food.

We take writing about food too seriously sometimes.  I don’t mean to say it is frivolous but it doesn’t have to become removed from fun.  Let’s mix some well-earned nonsense into the task of feeding ourselves; let’s have ourselves A Mad Tea Party.  I mean, a tea party inspired by the fabulous and witty work of Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland!

Manisha might remember that, a few years back, we had thought about starting a food blog event based on cooking inspired by books.  Cook a Book we had planned to call it.  We never got to it and now it has been already done.  But, we can at least have a one-time event and see how that goes.  All of you must have read Alice in Wonderland as a child.  I recommend The Annotated Alice, if you haven’t or if you want to read it again.

Everyone is invited – bloggers and non-bloggers, those who leave comments and make this a party, and those who lurk!  Have yourself a mad, mad party!  To know more about how to participate in the Madness visit The Mad Tea Party – V.

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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