Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Day 79/90

So today I decided to make sauce, ofcourse I had to look at my favourite Ritu Dalmia cookbook. :) Ah, I love the book. Ooh. Ok, so here goes. 


What you need: 

A kilo of tomatoes 
Two onions, finely chopped 
One carrot, finely chopped 
A teaspoon of crushed oregano 
Salt to taste 
A couple of basil leaves 
A splash of red wine/vinegar 
Sugar to taste 
If it gets to sugary, then add lemon juice 
50 ml of olive oil 
Three cloves of garlic 

Ok, now the original recipe called for leek and celery, I didnt have both so didnt add it, you ofcourse can and should really. 

What to do: 

1. Blanch the tomatoes. This means that heat up some water in a patila and dunk the tomatoes in, until you see the skin come off. 

2. Once that happens, let it cool, and chop up the tomatoes, quartering is totally acceptable really. 

3. Now, in a wok, add the oil. Once its hot, add the garlic and onion, and once its translucent, add the carrots. Now, cook for some two minutes and add the tomatoes, oregano, basil, and vinegar. 

4. Add some salt and sugar to the melange, and let it cook for an hour. Since gas is a problem and my father would blast me since ordering the new one is a true pain, I did this for half hour. 

5. Cool it down. I did this by placing the wok under a fan. You dont have to, you can wait a long time for it to cool, till christmas maybe? 

6. Add it to the mixie, and blend. 

7. Keep it in a container, and transfer to a bottle in the morning. Pictures will come tomorrow morning. 

Also, for the side, just randomly, make some GLH(ginger lemon honey). Add a knob of crushed ginger, half a lemon's juice, to a pan. Once its done, add this to a cup, along with a tablespoon of honey. Enjoy enjoy. Also, the ginger is grown in my domestic help's garden in Jharkhand, and the honey is from Kumaon, saara organic. :) 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Day 78/90

12 days to go choons! And im moving slowly, turtle like, towards my target, and im mighty happy about it. Anyway, so I went all lebanon today, and made falafel and tomato basil hummus. Here it is. Yes. 

For both dishes, soak a cup of chickpeas overnight in water and salt. This gives you four cups of boiled chickpeas. 

So here goes, 


What you need: 

Two cups of boiled chickpeas 
Salt to taste 
Four to five cloves of crushed garlic 
One onion, chopped 
A teaspoon of coriander powder 
A teaspoon of cumin powder 
A handful of chopped coriander
Half a teaspoon of black pepper 
Half a teaspoon of baking soda 
Half a lemon, squeezed 
Two green chillies

For the coating 
Around three tablespoons of flour 
One egg, beaten

Oil for frying 

What to do: 

1. Blitz everything in a mixie, except the coriander,  and add water so that it doesnt get too thick. 

2. Take out, add the coriander, shape into balls, and keep aside. 

3. Coat with some flour and dip in egg, then fry. I didnt do the egg part, and had a disaster, the falafel started disintegrating. I had some four left and I baked those. For baking, just flatten them cutlet like, and bake. 


What you need: 
Two cups of boiled chickpeas 
A tablespoon of tahini, store bought, or follow my recipe from yesterday. You can replace the bhangjeer with sesame seeds if you must. 
Some olive oil, maybe two tablespoons 
Four to five basil leaves 
Two tomatoes, roasted (for more flavor, add more) 
Half a lemon, squeezed 
Cumin powder, one teaspoon 
Four to five cloves of garlic
Salt to taste 

For this, just blitz everything in a mixie. Apologies, I dont have a picture of the final product. 

So what I did with both dishes is, I made wraps. I couldnt find pita bread today, so I used tortilla wraps. 


Here is what you need 

One recipe falafel
One recipe hummus 
Tortilla wraps/pita bread 
One onion chopped 
Ham, for the non veg ones 

What to do: 

1. Slightly heat up the wrap, and then slather hummus all over it. 

2. Add the falafel, and randomly put some onions around it. For the non veggie ones, add the ham. 

3. Heat it up once again, and serve. 

After youve tucked in, listen to this stuff. My lovely friend Nayantara is singing her way to awesomeness. :)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Day 77/90

So I went to Dilli Haat today, ( a small market like thing set up by the government to promote indigenous crafts and food, this is a very bad definition, look it up) and I went to the Vividhara stall. Here is their facebook page:

The lady at the stall knew her stuff, she was telling us about all the products and we walked away with a bundle. My aim for today was to cook with the most exotic ingredient of the lot. What did I choose? Bhangjeer. Yeah. Bhang what? I will repeat. Bhangjeer. Its some exotic Himalayan thing, similar to sesame seeds. So I looked up a sesame seed chutney recipe, and also in a sudden brainwave, I also made tahini paste out of it. So I am giving you two recipes for this thing, you can contact them through facebook and order your own bhangjeer, I suggest you do, its wonderful to cook with, and can be eaten as is. 

So here goes.. 

Recipe source: 

What you need: 

Four tomatoes, chopped 
Two tablespoons of toasted bhangjeer (use an oven or work, I used my wok) 
One or two dried whole red chillies, we put in four(DONT unless you are a spice freak and can deal with a lot of chilli)
Two green chiliies
Half teaspoon cumin seeds 
A tablespoon of tamarind paste/juice of half a lemon and a pinch of brown sugar 
One and a half teaspoons urad dal
Salt to taste
Oil to cook

What to do: 

1. Heat some oil in a wok. Once its done, add the cumin seeds and urad dal, and the dried whole red chillies. Once the dal becomes red, take it off the fire and keep in a safe place. 

2. Add the green chillies in the same oil and saute them too. 

3. Keep them along with the other stuff. 

4. Now, add the chopped tomatoes to the wok, and once all the water evaporates, take them off the fire and add the lemon juice and brown sugar, or the tamarind paste. 

5. Once its cool, add the toasted bhangjeer seeds, the urad dal mix to the mixie and blitz. Once thats done, add the tomatoes in the wok to the mixie and blitz again. 

You have now reached chutneyville! 


What you need: 

 A cup of toasted bhangjeer 
One fifth a cup/a few tablespoons of olive oil 

What to do: 

Blitz both together to form tahini. Refer to Day 20 for a recipe for hummus, or serve with falafel. :) 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Day 76/90

I know this sounds insane, but I have wanted to eat home-made samosas since ages, and today seemed to be a good day, so I made samosas today. The entire samosa act was orchestrated by my domestic help, so all credit goes to her. I didnt even have to look for a recipe! Eeeee... 

We also made some awesome green chutney to go with it, so easy and so delish! 

So here goes. :) 


What you need: 
Sujita and her daughter Ria, sorry, not really available but you can try.. 

For the covering 
A cup of flour 
Oil and water to knead, as much as you need
A teaspoon of salt 
Half a teaspoon of baking soda 

For the filling
Six potatoes, boiled, and skin peeled off, and then mashed
Half a cup of shelled peas 
One onion, sliced finely
Salt to taste 
Half a teaspoon of red chilli flakes/powder 
Half a teaspoon of garam masala 
Half a teaspoon of turmeric 
A teaspoon of dried coriander seeds, crushed 

For the chutney 
A handful each of coriander and mint 
Seven to eight cloves of garlic 
Salt to taste 
Two green chillies, cut in half 
A tablespoon of sugar 
Half a lemon, juice squeezed straight

What to do: 

1. For the filling, add some oil to a wok, and add the onions to it. 

2. Once the onions have browned, add the peas. 

3. Once the peas are soft enough, add the potatoes, the salt, and the other four things. 

4. Cook for a bit, say ten minutes, and turn the gas off. 

5. For the covering, add salt and baking soda to the flour, and using the oil and water, make a dough. Once youve made the dough, keep it at a safe place for later use, and dont use it till 20 minutes are over. 

Here is a picture of the prepared dough and (some of) the filling. 

Now comes the main part, the assembly. What you need to do is, create a samosa station in an uncluttered part of your kitchen. Keep the dough and filling, along with some flour, and a rolling board and pin here.

Now, take small portions of the dough, and roll it out thinly on the rolling board. Then, make a cone, fill it up with the filling, shut the top, and deep fry. As simple as that. Hmm. 

Here it is in pictures 

First, you make a small roti type thing, by using the rolling pin and board. To make sure your hands are dry, keep rubbing them with the flour. 

Then, using your fingers, you make a cone, and fill the filling in it. 

Then, seal it from the top, and pat it for good luck. 

Now, deep fry the samosas in a deep wok, turning them over when one side is done. 

Once they are done, put them onto a kitchen towel or newspaper, and take off all the extra oil. 

For the chutney, just blitz everything in a mixie, and its ready! 

For a perfect snack, serve the samosas with the chutney. :) 

I loved the effort involved, it was also a huge learning process for me. My lovely domestic help taught me a lot today, like she does everyday really. It is remarkable how she handles my house and her own family, including a one year old naughty kid. We pitch in whenever we can, but she seems to me a true superwoman. All I do is go to office, plonk myself onto a chair, and work away, while her day starts early, making the food I eat at work, basically serving my family three meals and a snack, taking care of guests and others, and always serving with a smile. Kudos to her! I am ending this post with a picture of her little one, oh, I have so many dreams for her! My father handed her a tennis racquet the other day, I wonder what she makes of that! 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Day 75/90

So after a long hard day at work, all I wanted was a good old bun anda, or egg in a bun. I have my own recipe, dont need to follow anything. There is something about eggs, I can have conversations with them. I am no pro, I cant make eggs benedict or poached or anything, but I can make a harmless yet purpose driven bun anda, and I think you should be happy that I consider you worthy enough to give you this recipe. Ok, that is really rude. But its ok, a little rudeness goes a long way. Maybe you pay attention now. Blah. Omg, 15 days to go! 

So here goes... 


What you need: 

Since this is a very personal journey, all ingredients are meant for one person, so umm, modify if you plan to make this for a family or friends. Friends are family, family are friends. :) 

One egg 
A couple of sliced onion and tomato pieces 
A teaspoon of chopped coriander 
Cheese, to taste, I used really little 
A teaspoon each of dried oregano and rosemary 
Salt to taste 
Half a teaspoon of crushed peppercorns 
Oil to cook 
One bun, cut in the middle, and some butter or oil to butter or oil it 

What to do: 

1. Whip the egg well, with the salt, pepper, oregano and rosemary. 

2. Heat up some oil on a flat pan, and once its hot, place the tomato and onion pieces onto it. 

3. Once the onion browns a bit, add the whipped egg onto it. Add the cheese too. 

4. Cook for a bit, and then flip over. 

5. For the bun, cut it in the middle, and add the butter or oil onto the pan or onto the bun. Let it crisp up a bit. 

6. Take a sneak peak, and if you feel its done, add the coriander, take it off the gas, and fix it between the two bun pieces. 

7. Your egg in a bun is totally ready to eat. Enjoy with some tomato ketchup/mostaza/green chutney. :) 

I cant describe how good this was. The best part is the versatility. Add some indian spices, like turmeric, garam masala, red chilli powder and coriander powder, and you have a different version. You can also omit the onions and tomatoes, making it a plain omlette, or retain the cheese for a cheese omlette. For a richer taste, use butter to cook. Possibilites are limitless, fortunately.