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

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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 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!

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 😀 . 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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