Monday, November 26, 2012

Mutter Paneer

Paneer is featured in a lot of my cooking as it is loved by nearly all of my family members. My son especially is a great fan of it and whenever I make any Paneer Sabzi he is sure to clean his plate and even ask for a second helping.

This is a popular paneer dish, easy to make and taste wonderful.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ananas Bhat or Sweet Pineapple Rice

Diwali just passed us and it was a time of making lots and lots of sweets. This was one of the sweets I made. Try it and see, you will not be disappointed. Its taste of pineapple and coconut will transport your taste buds to a tropical paradise !!!

This recipe is adapted from Ruchira ( a very popular Marathi cookbook ).


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Baigan Ka Salan ( Eggplant Curry Hyderabadi Style )

This is a spicy eggplant curry with Hyderabadi influence in it. The ingredients look elaborate but it really is not that bad and the end result is very delicious.This is one dish we would be making again at our home.

I do apologize for the bad photos. I was late to serve lunch that day so I clicked it as I was cooking and never did a final presentation for the good photos. I promise when I make it again I will take a better photo that will do justice to its deliciousness and post it.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Kalakand - made with condensed milk

My love for sweets is legendary at our home. I love all kinds of sweets, no matter where they are from. I am a total dessert egalitarian.

This sweet recipe I am presenting today is from India. It is a silky fudge made of milk, Indian cheese/paneer and sugar. It is soft, crumbly and creamy. One of the steps in the original preparation called for boiling down 1 liter if milk till it is 1/4th in volume. This takes a lot of patience and time both of which I do not have. Well maybe I do have the time but I definitely do not have the patience.

So this is a shortcut method which makes this delicious fudge in just 1/4th  the time. I have also read on the Internet that ricotta cheese can be substitute for paneer. Personally I have never done that and cannot attest to how authentic that would taste, especially since I have always found ricotta to have a slightly salty aftertaste to it.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Masale Bhat - Spicy Ivy Gourd and Potato Pulao/Pilaf

This spicy rice pulao brings back memories of Nagpur summers, weddings and my grandparents.

I have a soft spot for Maharashtrian food, after all my dear mother is a Maharashtrian. She would cook a lot of these dishes for us when we were growing up. Later on I spent quite some time with my grandparents in Nagpur. It is during this period that I truly learnt what marathi food and culture is all about. Our grandparents would take us along with them whenever they attended marathi natak ( marathi plays / theatre ),  marathi comedy shows, go and see performances of marathi dance and songs and also attend all our relatives marriage ceremonies. It is here I was first introduced to Masale Bhat, one of the main dishes in nearly all maharashtrian wedding feasts.

Most of these wedding would be of someone we were related to but I had never met before. Most of the time the relation to that person was a long and complicated one.
Now if that wasn't enough to spin our heads, calling some relatives Bhau Kaka and Tai Maushi surely confuses a child. I mean who is he, is he a Bhau ( brother ) or is he a Kaka ( uncle ). How can he be both? Same with Tai ( elder sister ) Maushi ( Aunt ). Now keep in mind our Tai Maushi is how my mom addressed her, so to us she becomes Tai Maushi Aaji ( elder sister aunt grandmother !!!! )

 Anyway, once we escaped the introductions, we would make a beeline to the dining rooms, here we would be greeted with the aromas of the wedding feast. With rumbling tummies we would grumble at the lengthy process of the marriage ceremony. Luckily since we were kids we always got to eat first. There was always two kinds of service, one was the "table" service where we would get to sit and eat on chairs and tables, and the other service was the "sit down" service, where we would literally sit on a mat cross-legged on the floor and eat in either banana leaves or steel plates.

I loved it when there were tables and chairs as compared to eating sitting cross-legged on a mat. You see when you sit down the food has to travel twice as long to reach your mouth as compared to when you sit to eat on a chair and table. At that time I had not yet mastered the act of picking up the rice from the plate and then carrying it all the way to your mouth without losing more than half the morsel on its way. Thus it would take me twice as long with double the effort to eat the same amount of food !!!

Anyway back to our dish Masale Bhat. This would always be part of the wedding banquet. This spicy rice dish studded with vegetable and huge chunks of cooked potatoes was one of my favorites. I came across this recipe of Masale Bhat from a cookbook called  Essential Marathi Cookbook by Kaumudi Marathe. This book has an amazing collection of Marathi recipes like Vada Bhat, Bhadang, Dhape Pohe, Patal Bhaji, Dhirda, Methamba and Aluchi Vadi etc. The best part is that they are all written in english .

This recipe is really easy to make and it turned out an authentic tasting Masale Bhat transporting me back to those marriage halls. Even my non-marathi husband and my in-laws enjoyed this dish very much.

I would like to dedicate this dish to my Grandparents, to thank them for always being there for us, teaching us so many things and enriching our lives in so many ways. We love you.