My 23-year-old daughter Suroshri recently made us proud by being selected for a prestigious internship in a British Council teaching project.
She leaves home for work these days at 7 AM and I face the daily challenge of sending her off with a tiffin box containing food which, apart from being filled with motherly love, is healthy, tasty and doesn’t require too much time to prepare.
Today, on 21 June 2019, I surprised myself by creating a sandwich that fulfilled all of these parameters.
Here is the recipe.
Bread slices, 4
Leftover yellow dal, 4 tablespoons
Grated paneer: 50g
Chopped items: one green chilli, some green coriander leaves, one small onion.
Spices: salt, amchur, jeera powder, dhania powder as per taste.
Mix paneer, all chopped items, and spices with a spoon.
Next, toast 2 bread slices on a tawa after smearing it with some Amul butter. Once they turn brown at the bottom, flip them and place some filling on the toasted part of one of the slices. Place the other slice on it. Toast the sandwich on both sides. Now sandwich is ready. Here are the step-by-step pics.
At the peak of winter, when it’s chilly, misty, and cloudy outside and the plants are bereft of green leaves, it’s best to head to the kitchen and make these unusual pakoras for yourself and your family. Have them with a cup of hot masala chai. It will drive away the blues and make you feel better.
Here are the step-by-step pics…
1. Grind some cauliflower ganthals (stalks) along with a bunch of garlic, some ginger, and a green chilly. Take out this paste in a vessel and add besan (black gram powder) to it.
Add salt, ajwain, hing, amchur, cumin powder, and coriander powder as per your taste.
Take out spoonfuls of this batter and deep fry in hot oil in a Karahi till they turn brown all over.
Place them in a plate once done. Enjoy with a dip of your choice and a hot cup of tea.
Last night, after dinner, I had a sudden craving for something sweet. We had some sweets lying in the fridge, but I wanted to eat something different. I had neither the time nor the energy for any more cooking and something had to be done, I thought. That was when an idea came to my mind.
I rushed to the kitchen and created a plate of cream and strawberry crackers. See the photo above. I was amazed to find that it took me just 3 minutes!
Given below are the steps of this 1-2-3-go recipe.
1. Bring out Frozen cream (Cream from milk kept in freezer for making desi ghee)
2. Take out strawberry sauce and Brittannia Marie biscuits or any other tasteless biscuits you have at home.
3. Rub cream on the biscuits and then pour strawberry sauce over each biscuit. Sprinkle some sugar on the biscuits.
Your cream-strawberry crackers are ready. Enjoy!
I wondered why I didn’t do this earlier. Well, necessity is the mother of invention, isn’t it?
I recently shared this recipe on a Facebook group Mad Food addicts. They were all floored by its sheer simplicity. Someone out there mentioned that it reminded him of his childhood experiments in cooking and suggested that I also experiment with Horlicks or Bournvita paste.
On the night of 17 June 2018, I returned home from work to another hugely pleasant surprise from my daughter Suroshri!
As soon as I opened the door of our fridge, my eyes fell on a big plate of fruits and chocolates decorated so beautifully! It showed how much thought, creativity, and care had gone into making it look the way it did that day; bright, gorgeous, and oozing with the sweetness of love…
Suroshri had brought a lot of other things too to make the day special for us. They were all so irresisistibly tasty that we simply forgot to click their pictures before gobbling them!
These days, there are special Days for every emotion, which is a very good thing really, especially when you are at the receiving end.
When I was a youngster, however, we did not have the pleasure of celebrating special days like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, etc. We did not even have access to cameras to click pictures to commemorate special moments. We just kept memories of such emotions in our hearts and souls and savored them silently with our eyes shut long after they had happened.
Anyway, each generation, I guess, does things in a style that it is capable of and enjoys doing, so you just have to be happy and play along…
And here are the photographs from Suroshri’s WhatsApp status on Father’s Day 2018.
Last week, my husband brought home a big packet of jamuns (Indian Blackberry). They were quite good, but we couldn’t eat them all because jamuns have a tangy taste and tend to cause a sore throat. I didn’t want to let them sit in the fridge and rot away since jamuns have lots of health benefits. So I decided to make a chutney with it. It was the first time I made a chutney out of jamuns and it turned out to be quite tasty.
Here are the step-by-step pics.
Wash the jamuns in a sieve.
2. Peel them with a knife and remove the seeds.
3. Add green coriander and mint (dhania and pudina leaves) after washing them properly.
4. Add green chillies & gur.
5. Put all these ingredients into a mixie. Add salt according to taste. Add some water and grind into a paste. You will get a sweet-sour chutney just like what you see on the top….
If you ever happen to be walking on a dusty street of Delhi, just stop for a moment and look around you. You will most certainly find a couple of culinary heroes. They are generally migrants who have come from far-flung towns and villages in UP, Bihar, Haryana, Darjeeling, Nepal, Mizoram, etc. From morning till night, they cook, toil, and sweat, and sell their stuff to the locals with the hope of earning enough money for themselves and their folks back home. Their grit, courage, and determination are really admirable and that’s what makes them little Gods in their own right. The items they sell may not qualify for Michelin’s 5-star status, but they carry that special touch and feel of the land they have originated from. This is what makes Delhi a melting pot of so many cultures and cuisines.
Let me tell you about 2 such people.
Raju: You will find him at Uttam Nagar Bus Terminal, near Uttam Nagar East Metro Station. He has come from Uttar Pradesh. From morning till night, he fries cocktail samosas in a little karahi and sells them to the passersby. His price is Rs.10 for 4 samosas, that is, Rs.2.50 per piece, which is damn cheap if you compare it with a standard samosa in Delhi which costs Rs.10 per piece. His low pricing is his way of fighting competition.
A few days ago, it was raining when I passed by his shop. I usually avoid street food, but I just couldn’t resist the temptation and I bought these samosas. I was pleasantly surprised to find them very tasty and the spices were very balanced too. During the rainy season, he puts up a tent and carries on because sales are much more when it rains. Considering the amount of plastic that goes inside a packet of Kurkure of the same price (Rs.10), these samosas are, I think, far safer and more nutritious. Try them whenever you are passing through this place and you feel like eating something crunchy and spicy.
Tashi Sherpa: Tashi works for a living at Mini Market, AG-1 Vikaspuri. He has come from Darjeeling and lives in Uttam Nagar at present. He began his business in Vikaspuri about a year ago. His daily routine begins here at 4 PM.
His most significant contribution to this locality has been the introduction of ‘Buglet,’ a recipe which he has brought from Darjeeling, and 2 new varieties of samosa, chowmein samosa and macaroni samosa.
Samosas with fillings other than potatoes were earlier associated with places like Moti Nagar and Paharganj. Thanks to Tashi, we get them now in AG-1, Vikaspuri too! He is doing quite well here, he says with his characteristic smile, especially with his buglets and samosas.
Buglet is a kind of roll made from maida stuffed with chicken or vegetables depending on the preferences of the customers. The roll is fried in a karahi and sliced into two before serving.
Here are the photographs.
Raju @ Uttam Nagar Bus Terminal
Tashi Sherpa, AG-1, Vikaspuri
Buglets being deep-fried…
Before serving/packing, each Buglet is sliced into 2 pieces.
Tashi, busy with his customers…
Here are a few more heroes and Gods. These pics were all clicked near Uttam Nagar Red Light…
Seller of luscious and colorful fruits
Guptaji’s Faluda Kulfi…
Pawan Tikki Burger
Selling Shikanji (drink made with lemon juice, water, sugar, ice, and spices)
Inspired by my recent success with Saffola Oats tikkis, I recently tried to make oats poha. Like I do with chirwa, I put the oats in a sieve and put it under running water. Unlike chirwa, however, it became too soft and when I put it on the sauted mixture of boiled potatoes, tomatoes, onions, curry leaves, green chillies, and spices, it turned into an upma! Well, something is always better than nothing, isn’t it? To my pleasant surprise, not only was it quite edible, it was quite tasty.
Here are the step-by-step pics.
Put oats under running water.
2. Peel the potatoes.
3. In a karahi, add some oil. When it gets hot, add turmeric, 1/4 teaspoonful sugar, some dry fruits, chopped onions, curry leaves, sarson, and some green chillies.
4. Stir a little bit and then add tomatoes and roughly mashed potatoes. You may also add some jeera powder and coriander powder.
5. Then add the oats, stir the whole stuff well, and turn off the heat. Voila! Oats upma is ready!
A few days later, on a relaxed, leisurely Sunday, I made a second attempt at making oats poha. This time, I put Saffola oats straightaway on the fried mixture without wetting them under running water. My daughter didn’t like it at all. She said it was too “dry” and felt like eating sand mixed with potatoes, onions, and tomatoes. I accepted her judgement gracefully with a smile, but I didn’t have the heart to discard it. So I quietly put it in a utensil and kept it in the fridge. While keeping the bowl there, I noticed that it had good company. It sat right next to a 2-day old black chana curry containing all the rich flavours of tomatoes, onions, and spices. An idea came to my head at that moment and I decided to use it at the earliest.
That night, I mixed the leftovers, oats poha and black chana curry, with some water in a mixie and turned the whole stuff into a paste. I mixed this paste with some atta and kneaded it all into a hard dough for making pooris. I added some salt and ajwain and kept this in the fridge.
Next morning, I made pooris out of this dough and served them hot with dry potato subzi and dahi.
Here are the pics.
The ill-fated Oats poha
Dough of Oats poha and black chana curry
Pooris, the end-product. (I took out little balls from the dough, dipped each one a little bit in hot oil in a karahi and flattened it with a rolling pin on a chakla. Then I deep fried each one of these and took them out after they turned brown on both sides).