I did it!! I finally learnt to poach eggs! And I have the very attractive legendary, Nigella Lawson to thank for it!
It’s actually so simple that it’s scary. But trust me, its really easy! I know what you must be thinking!! Nah! you say! I get it! I have no count of the number of eggs reduced to broken yolks and litres of water bubbling with broken scattered albumin! But one look at this recipe, and I can guarantee that you will be willing to try poaching eggs and you will succeed!
This video / recipe will banish all myths about vinegar in the water, or swirling the water into a vortex, or that you need special skills to make this dubious poached egg!
When you break the egg in the water the white will move away. But as it cooks the white remembers it’s DNA and goes up and envelopes the yolk again. It’s quite interesting to note this, and reminds us to never fail to be amazed by nature and all things natural.
This has become my favourite meal in a bowl. It’s quick, easy (yes! it is!) and super super tasty. Specially when you get to the last part where the egg yolk breaks and mixes with the curds and butter sauce! Then – it just melts in the mouth setting off a palate explosion!
I really have not much more to say in this post because you really have to taste it to know how strangled for words it will leave you!
Go for it! And message me with pics!!!
IMPORTANT: Do go through the notes section of the recipe for hacks and tricks!
There is something about the farm in full bloom, the birds happy with themselves, bees humming, butterflies swarming around, and our two dogs furtively chasing away the monkeys (who want to uproot our vegetable patches!). The entire happy cycle of nature makes my soul sigh in satisfaction.
This season we got bushels and bushels of corn from our farm in Mahabaleshwar. And strawberries. And radish. And beans. And cauliflower!! And so many other small batches of pure organic vegetables. The taste and inherent sweetness of the freshly plucked organic vegetables is a world apart from what we get in cities.
We had freshly plucked corn, and we all decided to have Corn Pulao.
This is a really simple recipe, very easy prep and damn tasty to boot! Just before adding the rice, you will realise that the corn looks so good, and it tastes and smells good too. At this point you can easily not add the rice and serve it as a veggies with any kind of roti! (we almost did that, as the smell was making us go crazy – and we were fast loosing patience).
Serve it with yoghurt and papad! Or eat it plain! You can easily increase or decrease the spices. What I have written in my recipe is not a very spicy version. The yoghurt, balances the spices.
I hope you like the recipe as much as all of us did!
PS: here is the link to the youtube video to make your life a tad easier!
Cheers and Ciao!
We were in Amritsar recently, and the fresh vegetables caught my friends eyes and she really wished to take some back home.
Alas! We had all shopped so much (and hey! it was cold, we had heavy jackets as well!), that our bags were collectively over weight. My poor bereft friend had to let go of the farm fresh vegetables. But to make things a wee better we had true Punjabi Warian with us.
Many years back I had Matar Ka Nimona at my cousins place. I remember eating bowl fulls much to her delight and finally to her dismay. She was worried I would get an upset stomach!!
This is actually a dish famous in Uttar Pradesh. It is mostly made during the winters when the peas are fresh and juicy. Wadi (Warian is Punjabi) in Uttar Pradesh, is made with fresh white pumpkin, urad dal, and garam masala. It’s dried in the heat of summer and remains intact for the year round.
I made this recipe many times last year. It’s very suitable to the Indian palate. Too alien for foreigners. It goes well with any kind of Indian Roti. Even tastes good with rice.
You can easily avoid the onion and garlic and reduce the spice quotient. But some amount of spice is definitely needed, don’t do away with it totally. I prefer to make this without the onion and garlic.
There is something about this dish, which appeals to me greatly. The mouth feel of the pea paste and a subtle hint of flavour left behind by the cooking wadi, and then of course the wadi itself, along with a soft pillowy taste of potatoes cooked in the simmering gravy. The gravy tends to thicken as it goes, and thickens even more when it’s left till it is consumed. So, adding enough water is essential, and just before serving (if made a little ahead of time) add a little salted water and cook till boiling and serve immediately.
Try and get small fresh peas. That will lend to the dish an inherent sweetness, which when combined with the garam masala of the wadi makes it resonate in your mouth.
My grand mom made the best Chole in the world. It was a hand me down recipe from her mother who was according to me was an un hailed, un acclaimed legendary cook worth atleast a couple of Michelin Stars. Not only did she cook like her hands were blessed by the gods, but she also remembered amongst the dozens of grand and great grand children, who thronged at her home each summer, what each of us loved to eat. Our stomachs and souls were in heaven when at her home. Every morning, no matter how early we woke up, we would find her tinkering in the kitchen, singing bhajans to her beloved Krishna. I asked her one day if she has any recipes written down – and she looked at me like I was asking her if Krishna liked dance music. Every single recipe, and there were thousands in her repertoire, was stored in her head. And not once was there a variation in what we ate. Each and every time over the years the dishes tasted the same – tasty, heartwarming and soul stirring.
My nani, handed me this recipe of Chole, very casually over dinner one day. I scrambled up and wrote it down. Over the years, I have also perfected this recipe with trials and error. And while it still does not taste like how she or her mom made it, it stills holds good on it’s own….
If you have been following my blog, you would have realised that my favourite flavour is garlic. I have grown up in a family that cooked without onion and garlic, for religious purposes. Garlic is said to have “tamsik” qualities. Tamsik food is considered unhealthy, and it brings out the negative in you, gives rise to anger and other repugnant emotions. During the Vedic times, everything that was considered not good, was given a religious decree of non consumption.
I have realised over the years that a lot of do’s and dont’s of the Vedic ages are now being proven scientifically true. Take for example the benefits of turmeric. The world over, turmeric is prescribed for it’s qualities. But there is also the other side of science, which has proven some foods that were earlier considered bad, are now proven to have health benefits. Garlic is very good for the heart.
As for me – I like to live dangerously and garlic is very good for my soul!
I can have garlic in every single meal, and not get tired of the taste. I think I am still making up for my lost childhood!
Nishi enjoying the taste!
Lasooni Palak, or Saag as its called in some places, is my favourite version of consuming spinach. I like the smooth texture, but I also like the chopped version. So I came up with a recipe that was a mix of both. I like my food on the little spicier side (more Tamsik me!!) and somehow the taste of garlic, rough and smooth spinach with a hint of fire sets me in the absolutely perfect mood!
I experimented with this recipe in the green environs of Mahabaleshwar. The spinach was not fresh off the farm, but it was still from the hills of Panchgani, and as fresh as one could possibly get. But the spinach I grow in our farm, is far superior, completely organic and I pluck it when still in baby stages. The result is a sweeter taste, with a hint of bitterness and then of course we add the ever loved garlic and fiery spices. In the near future, when the garlic grows green and fragrant in my farm, I will try this same recipe with new green garlic stalks. The taste will be a little different – more herby!
The recipe goes best with chappati, made with whole wheat or jowar.
Another shout out from my daughter, for this recipe. I had made it for their friends when they were here and it was polished off in no time.
Well, many a good news hovering around me. The daughter got into Yale, my cooking classes have taken off and this darned blog has got fixed. There were some major issues, so all those of you who tried to come back for your favourite recipes and found gibberish in the ingredient section, my apologies. My very profound and heartfelt apologies. It could have got fixed earlier, but as usual, I was travelling.
I was in Mahabaleshwar, a small quaint hill station a few hours from Bombay. I have a home and a farm there, so this time the 12 days I stayed there, I ate off the farm, played with the new pup and chilled with my best friend Nishi.
We would wake up in the mornings, sit in the sun, (it was cold there!), and sip our tea and coffee. Then after a leisurely breakfast, we would put face packs (moisturising ones – like I said it was Brrrrr!) and jabber away for an hour or so. By the time the watch thought of turning both its hands to 12 – we would be sitting with our afternoon drinks – again yakking away to our hearts’ content. It was the most idyllic holiday one can have.
I plucked fresh Spinach, from the field and made this ultra easy and very delicious recipe. It needs very little preparation time. I have cooked it on a non-stick, with very little oil, but if you have a large party you can easily fry it in oil. I did it for the kid’s 21st birthday party and it vanished into mouths as soon as freshly fried plates were put in front of them.
I have also made a video, for a quick look-see. The first video I made was not “good enough” and my niece and son insisted I work a little harder and produce a better one. Well, they are not all that happy with this one either, but I lack patience so there is for all to view.
Unfortunately, I am not able to load the video here because of (temporary – I will fix it asap) data restrictions. But here is the Facebook URL
and there is the google drive URL.
I hope you will see the video and try the recipe. It makes for great cocktail snacks, lunch box sides, or sides.
Promise to get back with a recipe soon. I’ve been tardy!
Being Indian, and bought up on typical desi meals, Dal has been a staple dish served over lunch and dinner. After years and years of eating dal – Dal tadka, Gujarati Dal, Dal Langarwale, Kaali dal, etc etc, all felt so mundane – so overrated and so damned boring. At some point, I just lost faith in Dal!!
At a wedding recently, I saw the tag read Sailani Dal. Now that sounded completely new and something I had never heard of, let alone eat. I timidly tried a spoon, hoping my boredom towards dal would not bias my taste. My eyes sprang open, and my mouth instantly watered for more. I quickly filled up a soup bowl and made a meal of the dal.
The taste, the different flavours stayed in my mind for the longest time. It’s like one of those right moments when you read, smell or taste something, your senses just inhale it and push it deep into your conscious mind, keeping that memory forever fresh. And at any time when you bring it to your mind, it feels like it happened only a few moments ago.
Completely besotted, I went online for a hunt for the word “Sailani”. What was it? Turns out, it was the Maharaja of Sailana who invented this recipe. The Sailana’s hail from the Indian, Princely State of Madhya Pradesh. They were avid foodies and revamped recipes not only from their hometown but from all over India. In the 1980’s a book of their recipes was published but is no longer available easily.
The dal itself is super easy to make. Even the ingredients are minimal. The recipe calls for Toor (Arhar – Split pigeon peas). I urge you to use the best quality spices while making the Sailani Dal. Eat it with rice, or roti – it’s up to you. But eat it you must-
PS_ dedicating this recipe to my baby girl Kanak, who sits far away in the USA. She had loved this dal when I made it for her. HEY! Kanak – do try this out and send me pictures. KISS KISS!!
I was all set to meet the husband for a romantic lunch, but Bangalore being crowded, overpopulated, Bangalore, the traffic was such that it was either the lunch or the airport. And that airport had a plane parked which was going to take us to Goa! So really there was no dispute, the airport on time – it was.
I surprised our caretaker with a lunch request. She wasn’t prepared to make anything since I had announced gleefully about my romantic plans. So she hemmed and hawed, wondering what to make. (And I was feeling fussy about food that day!) Her husband (I have mentioned him before in my blogs. He is a complete foodie- for which I am eternally grateful!) Well her husband suggested “Kachcha Sambhar” in his typical local accent. It took him three repeats of the word before I realised that is what he actually meant. Raw Sambhar.
I have learnt to experiment and sometimes leave the suggestions to the experts. AND I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED. In fact, I was in food paradise. Every spoonful going in was ambrosia. Now I love garlic, and I love spice, and the most fun part was it has not one drop of oil!! Perfect right??
We did take off to Goa, and we had an amazing time, caught up in that leftover romance and all that! 😛 But I raved and raved about the Kachcha Sambhar, and he finally told me to use other methods to turn him on!! ( 😛 we are a foodie family!!)
Here is the recipe — the tomatoes have to be burnt — burnt black on a high flame. Wait for it to cool, and skim the skin off. Please do wait for it to cool — this way the skin comes off and does not leave small pieces of black burnt skin behind. We don’t want any black stuff in the sambhar. Same goes for the green chilly.
This is a very spicy dish. Deseeding the chilly reduces the spice. If you want it less spicy, reduce the quantity of the chilly, but don’t delete it completely. That would be a SIN! and Karma will pay you back!!
Tastes absolutely amazing with rice and a bland veggie. I love it with chilla. You make your own combinations and message me.
I was on the floor worshipping this dish! Hope you like it too!
Aloha! From Maui – Hawaii!
It’s been a busy happy week for us. Our daughter graduated with double majors in History and Anthropology! What a ceremony and what a delightful time for us proud parents. A huge bunch of us attended her graduation – her grandparents, brother, parents and her many many loyal friends. We hooted and cheered, and of course, her dad n me wept quite openly.
Will post pictures soon……! It’s all in the camera right now, and we are vacationing in Hawaii!
It’s a recipe from Rekha once more. Rekha of the serene nature and yummy cooking!
The recipe is really tedious for the first time. But once you make it (and you will – again and again, I promise you), it will become easier and easier.
The trick is in the dough. Once you have got that right, everything falls into place as easily as a beer in a glass.
She made it on a plastic surface, but she said using a banana leaf gives amazing results. “The flavour of the leaf seeps in”, she said.
I have given the measurement for the water, but each flour behaves differently from the other. Some soak up too much water, while others use less. Use the water little at a time, till you get the right consistency. I have put up images and videos for the same.
Without further ado – here is the recipe.