Ah yay! it’s that time of the week where I share what I have been churning out in my kitchen. I must tell you that these days I feel like I am a Master Chef contestant (Ya, my middle name is narcissm) peeling away, sauting away, chopping away, frying away, steaming away and all those umpteen wonders you indulge in when you are in your own paradise.
Seriously. Like the other day, I was so engrossed in cooking and I was finishing up everything fast and looking at the time in between and pretending to be one of those contestants always juggling between the main course and dessert and all that. I even wiped my forehead that had absolutely no, absolutely NO sweat beads whatsoever. So, why did I engage in an act so blatantly ridiculous? Because it gave me a high and I felt I was running a restaurant (Yea right. For the two of us).
Come to think of it. Usually, I take my own sweet time smelling every ingredient and wait for K to send out a couple of sirens like ” What’s cooking?” followed by “What stage is it in?” followed by ” I can almost feel the food coming to me” followed by”I am really hungry. Can I order pizza and have it by the time you finish the cooking?”. Ah yea, I can be as romantically slow as that. K is happy with my Master Chef declamation of sorts.
Straight to business.
I will cheat in this post. I will insert some weekday food here and there because I tried new things and don’t want to miss an opportunity to show off at any cost.
We went shopping to Little India from where I stock up everything at home. Sometimes, I re-stock it and create my own departmental store in the kitchen also. Don’t blame me. I got those genes from my mother. This time when I stocked up my refrigerator, I was like “Oh man! this looks like a refrigerator ad where the refrigerator looks so neatly organized like as though that was exactly what Keats referred to as “a thing of beauty“. For someone like me who used to behave as if the refrigerator is a place to hide everything stale, this looked refreshing !
What makes this a breathtaking sight for me is that there is no yesterday’s or day before yesterday’s or last year’s food inside. All green and colourful and I even brought some carrots out of the veggie tray to add some orange to it. That carrot has now become like a shrivelled pickle of a thing is another story.
It had been a while since I made Channa Masala and so this week, I tried it. I made it a bit soupy with extra gravy coz’ we were having it with rice and K always always needs his food submerged in a pot of gravy. If I make anything dry, he will ask me to make another dish with gravy – so I am getting smarter now.
I loved the taste. I added some extra tomatoes (more than usual) this time and loved the difference. We had it for lunch and dinner. Ya, our refrigerator now went back to being one.
And somewhere alongside this, I also made eNgai. I think it is a very Tamil dish – made with brinjals, carrots, potato. It tastes like absolute heaven with hot rice or rotis/ chappatis. Please make this if you haven’t and especially if you like eggplant!
I had a snap of the fry changing its colour but forgot to upload it. Ah, well !
And what came out –
Even as I am posting this, I am grabbing tissue after tissue to wipe my own drool. (Disgusting? Wait till you eat it).
And I tried making some kooTu sans coconut, another dish made commonly in southern part of India. But, to tell you honestly, I think this is probably made everywhere and assigned a different nomenclature. However, I did make my own changes interms of the leaves I used – I used pink amaranthus and I went wild with the spices and looked like a wizard making a crazy potion mixing off everything he finds on the rack. But the result was a very deceptively spicy looking dish but tasting moderately spicy and most importantly, very pleasant with rice.
Ladies and gentlemen, presenting danTu kooTu –
We had K’s friend and girlfriend joining us for lunch when I made this and even though they were Chinese and don’t eat a lot of Indian food, they seemed to be okay with this and had 2 servings !
What else did I make? Lets see now. Ah ! yes ! I tried the drumstick and shallot sambhar for the first time. I have made sambhar many a time but never with drumstick. This was a first and turned out really aromatic. I don’t take any credit. The drumsticks and shallots deserve that. Yet, if you want me to take some, alright. You really are stubborn.
I did make a mistake of boiling the shallots with dal for a little longer and they turned out soft and a couple became gooey. But well, the taste was amazing and I learnt a lesson for free. Right?
And now for the show stealer ! Paruppu Kozhkotte –
Okay. This one deserves an applause. I know many of you make kozhkottes but this one was my first and K and I loooooved it. I had this strange instinct right from morning at work that I must make them for dinner. It would be my first and strangely enough even ma somehow brought that topic up. I thought it was God’s way of telling me to make them. So, I quickly made a mental note of ma‘s recipe and called K in the evening and the conversation ran like this —
Me: hey K ! K! K! K!
Me: You know what I am making for dinner today? (all in a flurry of excitement)
K: Panner masala, mushroom machurian and fried rice?
K: oh plain rice?
Me: I am making kozhkottes !
K: Ooooooooo! But I want potato fry. Make some potato fry with it.
Me: Arey, but! I am making chutney also. And well, kozhkottes…..
K: (cutting me off) I want potato fry. Please please please please.
Me: Phew, okay okay.
And then I made kozhkottes and potato fry and tomato chutney.K starts eating and the conversation is like:
K: These are really nice Kismitoffeebar! You must make these more often. But why did you make potato fry with these?
Me: (You imagine my expression) I thought I heard you say you wanted potato fry.
K: Oh that! Actually, I didn’t know what kozhkotte was. I thought it was a vegetable. I wasn’t sure if I’d like it and so asked you to make potato fry. You should have told me.
That my dear folks, is my better half.
Sorry for a long post. But like I said, I really need to save every little dish incase someone asks me for my cooking journey when I become famous.
What’s cooking, dear readers?