Thursday, 29 December 2011

Red and Green Peppers Pizza

For the first time since i started blogging, i got inspired to cook for a blogging event. The event is "Lets cook for Christmas - Red and Green". I didn't even read the blog rules that apply for participation, i simply wanted to cook something using red and green ingredients and with a finished product that looks red and green. I was so very happy when the pizza came out of the oven the day after Christmas, and not just because during the previous week i had baked my first inedible pizza (I really don't want to talk about that disaster. It happened because i decided i didn't have to knead the dough, at all! Yeah, after baking about two dozen pizzas, i baked one that went straight to the trash can). This one though was miles ahead of the last one, the thin crust with whole wheat flour included was not only healthier, it was delicious too. And staying with sauteed bell peppers, without overloading with all sorts of toppings, brought out those delicate sweet flavours absolutely perfectly. When the soft mozzarella was bubbling away without burning during the last two minutes of baking, the house smelled amazing too. One of the best pizzas i have eaten in a long time.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Bottle gourd kofta curry (Sorakaya Kofta kura)

Maybe I am getting lazier, or maybe i am taking mom for granted, or both. Why else, as one who stays at home all day, everyday, would i ask mom to type in the recipe and send it to me by email, when i was right next to her when she made this for me on my last trip there. I have surely become lazier. And taking advantage of the fact that moms are always trying to be there for their daughters, even when the said daughter has quit her job after a mere five years in the corporate world. And  then when the said mom is having a one week leave from her day job (one that she has kept at for almost thirty years), she is asked to kindly type in the recipe because her daughter is too lazy. OK, i hope you get the point that i am very guilty right now. But can i be forgiven, please? I am not saying i deserve it, I am simply asking you to be magnanimous. Its the season for that too, right? Pretty please?

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Coconut milk pudding with vermicelli (Kobbari palu payasam)

An incredible thing happened last week. My mother-in-law had an evening snack. Now before you start wondering if i might be a little crazy, you need to listen to me some more. She never has an evening snack. In her own words "even if you give me gold, i will not eat anything between lunch and dinner". And this rule she has been diligently following for as many years as she can remember, probably more than a decade. When i give her samples of my cakes, cookies or other speciality foods i make, she will eat them as part of her main meal, lunch or dinner, reducing the rice portion. She usually has one cup of tea in the afternoon (substituted by milk earlier this year because the doctor advised her to eat more when recovering from a serious illness). Even at that stage she staunchly refused to eat anything between lunch and dinner. Then last week, coconut milk pudding happened. Every time i cook something new, i get my feedback from her. And I couldn't stop smiling when she told me how she broke her rule of no evening snacks, how the aroma lured her to taste one spoon, how she came back for a second spoon within minutes because she was now distracted with how good it tasted, how she finally relented and served herself a cupful, and how my father-in-law followed suit. It was incredible, people!

Friday, 16 December 2011

Simple Tomato Chutney

If you are regular reader, you might think that i have talked enough about my love for chutneys, but then you probably still don't know me too well. As i recently found out what the husband discovered about me - that i tell a story with such gushing enthusiasm, then get a little disappointed when i notice that i am not getting the expected reaction, it usually turns out i have told him that same story at least twice already. Either my brain's getting old before i even turn thirty, or i have a childlike enthusiasm,despite advancing years, where i can talk without worrying about my audience's reactions. You decide if that's good or bad. I mean for me. Of course its not the best of things to happen to an interested audience, so i shall try to keep my memory good. Otherwise you will remind me, no?

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Amla Murabba - Gooseberries in sugar syrup

I have always been one to identify my situation with songs, one who loved to express her current state of mind with a song; singing aloud when i was by myself because the poetry of the songs sounded so apt and beautiful, even if not originally mine. And when i had company, understanding friends would put up with my bad singing, i could never sing a song in its original tune. And as much as i profess to like songs, i can't really appreciate music. Its the lyrics that get me. When i was first introduced to old Hindi movie songs by my Rajasthani friend (who had a great voice and sang beautifully) i couldn't have enough of them. I would make her sing for me and ask the meaning of difficult words and I so loved the lyrics of those songs, that i can now sing along a lot of those old songs. And all this ranting is because i happened to listen to one such song a little while ago - main zindagi ka sath nibhata chala gaya. I was just starting a new blog post and wondering what to write about, paused to check my email when i found a friend sent me a link to this song on the Internet.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Pressure cooker in action

This was a picture i clicked in my mom's kitchen, a couple of months ago. The colour photo has very little difference from its black and white counterpart. Its just the wall that has colour, a reddish brown granite. The pressure cooker and the frying pan themselves are made of white aluminium and black plastic. (This was cooking in that frying pan on that day). As far as i know, mom has been using these utensils for everyday cooking for more than two decades. They don't make them like that anymore is what i hear these days with both mom and mother-in-law still using kitchen utensils and appliances from when they got married and first started cooking. Now-a-days, the husband and i expect our kitchen utensils to last about two years and appliances to last some five years. Half of my frying pans have already lost their handles, and its just about two years since purchase.
I have missed Black and White Wednesdays the last few weeks and i am happy to be back.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Cauliflower Pickle - Andhra Style

I was sipping delicious sweet water with a straw from a fresh tender coconut a little while ago while staring into the sunset from a window at my home. And the idea of a tropical beach holiday described in some book or television or somewhere on the Internet flashed into my head. This was the not first time i had coconut water straight from a tender green coconut, nor was this the first time i admired a sunset at home (having even tried to capture it with my camera several times, precariously balancing the camera outside the third floor window), but it was the first time it struck me as something romantic. That a lot of things in everyday life seem interesting only when they are described in beautiful words by a stranger. That our perspective of everyday events can determine our happiness, not the events themselves. And i am surprisingly happy today, maybe just happy to be surprised at what my mind can throw at me to ponder.
Hello everybody and seasons greetings to you all.