Sunday, December 30, 2007

Here's to Susegaad!

I have to say this blog has been the most wonderful idea. How lovely that we can be in different parts of the world and share our food stories... especially when the cooking bug has attacked all of us all at once. Thankyou Pallavi for starting this. You deserve a prize... and here it is.
These are pictures of a small dinner we had for our friends at our new home last week. The menu was completely planned around Susegaad ... Pallavi's Babaghanoush (yum!) and Uzi's aligarh ghosht rice (the first time i ever cooked meat!) were the highlights. The food was amazing.. much enjoyed by everyone and we were pleased with our performance. Now thats a Susegaad success story! Oh and last night i tried Prash's coconut rice. So easy and so yummy. Thanks everyone.

Much love to all

Friday, December 28, 2007

Yum's the word and a happy christmas!

The last week has been a gastronomical bonanza second to none, with mum's amazing spread, radhika bhatia's delicious leg of ham and good old wengers Christmas cake. All we did was eat,now slowly recovering from all that delicious excess...

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Uzi's Aligarh Gosht Rice

Our trip to Aligarh a couple of years ago to see the Numaish, a sensory overload type of mela they have every year was very exciting but what lingers and remains in my mind about that trip was the food we got to eat at Uzi's home, made by her long time lovely cook Ruby. So when the cooking bug bit, (finally..) i knew that her recipes had to be tapped. I have no idea how close this is to the original but its a lovely light one dish meal, best eaten with papad, raita and kutchumbir...really looking forward to our next Aligarh trip to tuck in to ruby's food again :)

The only thing I would add before putting this recipe down is that it is very low on spice, i added green chilli's to give it a little zing, so depending on your spice levels you can add as you like

Mutton 1 kilo
2-3 large Onions ( cut in to big chunks)
1 Inch ginger (grind)
A whole pod or more of garlic ( the more the better/ grind)
4 Tejpata
10 or 15 pepper corns
4 Big elaichi

wrap the following ingredients in a little linen cloth and make a sealed potli/bundle
1 teaspoon dhanya sabut
1 teaspoon sauf
1 teaspoon zeera

Put all the above ingredients plus 2 teaspoons of salt in the pressure cooker with the meat,
add 4 -6 small cups of water ( such that the water is is just about covering the meat)

Give it a whistle or two and lower the flame, leave it on for 5-7 min and then take it off the gas.
Let it cool and open when cool.
Take out he little potli of spices

In a Big pan/kadai put some oil and the following
2 tejpata
4 small elaichi
2 Big elaichi
4-5 long
2-3 pieces dalchini ( Cinnamon)
Zavitri a little

Green chill to taste

Fry the bits of meat lightly with the masalas and after all done put back in the pressure cooker. Leave the water in the cooker as is.

Then take two cups of rice which you can soak for a half an hour ( 2 cups for 4 glasses of water, basically however many cups of water was put in earlier to cook the meat, half the amount of rice) and put in to the pressure cooker and cook on an open fire till water dries op/rice cooks

Separately in enough oil fry lots of onions ( 5-6 ,cut long) till brown and crispy to sprinkle on top.

Bon appetit..:)

Friday, December 14, 2007


'Padwalkai' is Kannada for 'Indian Snake gourd'. .. the long green gourd which i have'nt managed to find in London yet, not even at the Taj Stores on brick lane. Padwalkai Warka is what i miss most when i think of home food... and reason enough for this wonderous recipe to be my first contribution on this blog.and because i cant cook it here, instead of pictures of the dish i have for you a drawing of akka when she was very small.. another true warka lover.
Padwalkai Warka is a very local dish from 'Konasagara' (literal translation: sea of buffaloes'!), the village my father comes from. It was when my mother married my father and went to the village (she was 17 and this was 46 years ago), that she was taught how to make this dish. It is best eaten with ragi balls, with a bit of pickle and fried chillies on the side. It is also wonderful with white rice.

So here's the recipe:

1 snake gourd: Peel this strange wonderful vegetable, cut it open and deseed it.
Cut it into small-medium pieces. ( to give you an idea of small- medium:about 2.5 cms roughly)

In a small bowl, pour a little bit of water for soaking in the following ingredients:
6 pods garlic
1 spoon whole black pepper
chopped ginger
4 green chillies
2 spoons raw rice
1 spoon ghasghas

Keep the bowl aside and let these soak in a bit.

Heat some oil in the pressure cooker.
Fry in a bit of mustard seeds, curry leaf and few pods of chopped garlic.
Put in the cut gourd and fry it for just one minute.
Pour in 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of milk (coffee cup)
Pressure cook this for just one whistle.
Open the cooker and mash up the cooked gourd.
Add salt to taste and a little sugar (quarter tea spoon)
Put 1 table spoon of fresh grated coconut into the soaking bowl mixture, and grind all the bowls ingredients in the mixer.
Mix the ground mixture with the cooked gourd and give it one more boil.
Check for salt and spice. If more spice is desired split a fresh green chillie and drop it in.

Eat with hot steamed rice, pickle and papad.

and think of meg.

with love.

Indo Canadian cuisine

So we had a wild festive party last night, and for the occassion I made many a batch of mulled wine, 2 apple pies, Guacomole, Channa masala, a coconut rice (which is our south Indian family recipe), but I gave the coconut rice a twist and added Canadian wild rice to the basmati rice. Well there was chicken tetrazzini that Jane made, and a whole bunch of cheeses and short eats. I was up till 3 am cleaning up the place, but now it's time to give you the recipe for the Coconut rice which is so simple to make, and which is one of my favourites.

Virinde Chor (Coconut rice)

1 onion
1 sprig curry leaves
Whole spices like cinnamon, cardamom and cloves
1 cup Basmati rice
2 cups coconut milk
a pinch of turmeric powder
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Salt to taste

In a pot, pour some oil, and add the whole spices to flavour it. Put in the chopped onion and curry leaves, and fry till golden brown. Wash the rice, and add to the pot. Pour in the coconut milk, with salt and turmeric, and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once it boils, lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pot with a lid and cook for 12 minutes or until done.

It's a simple dish, but quite wonderful. Enjoy

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Mum's Parsi Cutlets

Have been eating these cutlets made by mum since as long as i can remember...They are light, yummy and best mopped up with bread and a light salad.A glass of wine to wash it down would complete a wholly satisfying meal.
Initially I was a bit worried about the fact that I are frying the cutlets raw without pressuring the mince first, but I soon discovered in between many frantic calls to mum that they cooked just fine. And subsequently had a discussion with Uzi about how at her home in Aligarh they too make kache keeme ke kabab, have to get hold of that recipe next.

For the Cutlets
1/2 kilo minced mutton/ keema

2 large onions mash/grate
1 or 2 whole bulb garlic (grind)
2 inch ginger (grind)
1 or 2 green chili
a liberal sprinkling of freshly ground pepper
Coriander leaves/ haradhanya (Lots of it! as mum says the more haradhanya the better)
A little haldi powder
1 spoon besan
2 eggs
2 slices of bread (wet them and squeeze them dry, crumble in to keema)

Take a large bowl/plate and nicely mix the cleaned raw keema with all the above ingredients,
make large round cutlets out of the mixture. If you find the consistency is too liquid add more egg and bread till you get a consistency that holds.
Fry the cutlets till both sides are nice and brown in a shallow pan with a little olive oil. The pan should be hot, and cover the cutlets for a while so that they cook.
Place them in a bowl.

For the Sauce
Grind 6-7 tomatoes with a little sugar in the mixie
Separately grind to a paste;
1 or 2 red chillies
a little garlic and ginger

In a pan lightly fry the paste and then add the tomato gravy and lightly simmer. Pour the gravy over the cutlets and serve!

Baba Ghanoush/ Eggplant Dip

All ingredients for 1 large Baingan/eggplant ( however saying that the garlic wont increase thaaat much for each baingan added, apologies but some andaz will have to be used). Is delicious with pita bread.

Roast a large Baingan ( or 2 or 3 depending on amount you need) like for Baingan ka bharta on the fire.
Take the pulp out and add a small bit,(say a little less than one inch square) of the burnt part to give a smokey taste.
Mash a whole large pod of garlic.
Roast a table spoon of til/ seasme seeds and grind it in the mixie/ or a teaspoon of seasame paste/tahini
Put the baingan, garlic, til, and a table spoon of olive oil in the mixie ( small container) and give it a very quick spin :) ( like literally 3 secs, it pulverises very fast).The oil will make it go white ( the Baingan colour will change)
Lastly squeeze a lime, grind pepper put some salt and a dash more of oil and give it another very short spin.

cest fini! enjoy...:)

What's cooking for Christmas ?

Had a discussion with mum today about the christmas menu. Paella is decided, then there might be a leg of ham or a leg of lamb ( the latter a la Rathi)...amongst various other things.. cant wait. I thought I would try an apple crumble for dessert ( along with the christmas cake which Sunit will hopefully buy soon and pour a cap full of rum in to everyday till christmas! ) any recipes for apple crumble, tried and tested?
Here are some pictures of christmas past. Incidently made a lovely shalgam ( turnip) meat today,will write it up soon soon.

Sunday, December 2, 2007


Ok folks the ball's finally rolling, for all those who dont know what 'susegaad' means, it's a konkani word for taking it easy...the good life...(if you believe that taking it easy is equal to the good life according to my mum :) the following excerpt from an article in the times will help explain it a little better...

"Goa is South Asia’s Latin Quarter: indulgent, tolerant, capricious, steeped in a tropical lassitude and wedded to the sea. To explain themselves, Goans speak of susegaad, a term whose translation depends upon whom you ask. It comes from the Portuguese word socegado, meaning quiet, which doesn’t really do it justice.

For Goans, susegaad identifies a laid-back attitude to life. When I asked Mrs Perreira Braganza about it, she sniffed, “It’s nothing more than indolence.” When I asked her niece, she grinned and said, “Relax, take your time, enjoy life, be happy. That’s susegaad.”

on that note let the recipes roll...:)