This recipe takes me back to a rainy day in Goa. We were sitting by the river, watching the pouring rain create zig zag patterns all over the surface. We sipped on our chilled beer as we waited for the service to start. The kitchen was all pumped up, getting ready for the rush that would soon hit us. The menu of the day included my very favourite Roasted Pumpkin Walnut Soup.
It’s been a crazy two weeks. I’ve been attempting to pack all my belongings into cartons to move home. Though I’ve moved less than a kilometer away from where I stayed earlier on, the process has been cumbersome, fatiguing and has washed me out of every ounce of energy. So when we did move and I started cooking in the new kitchen, instead of the traditional sweetmeat that is supposed to be cooked, I made this super healthy Barley Upma! It brought back some spring to my steps.
It was time for us to move home, yet again, and I was in a desperate need to clean out all the goodies in my deep fridge–there’s usually enough in there to feed a guest list of about 10 people, arriving unannounced. I had just enough short crust pastry dough to make a pie and about an hour in hand before my guests for dinner arrived. On this particular day, my brain was ticking sweet rather than savoury.
This is one of those evergreen recipes that are passed on from mother to daughter or son and from there on to the next generation. I however happened to get it some 20 years from a chef, whose name I sadly can’t recollect anymore, but he worked at the Taj property in Periyar, Kerala. Of course he used the freshest produce possible (plucked off the tree and dried in his own backyard) whereas I had to go to the closest mall!
These Freakshakes were invented in a little bakery and cafe called Patissez in Canberra, Australia and since then they shaken up the world of food and the Internet. The Freakshake is a wild combination of flavours and textures. They are supposed to be messy, indulgent, flowing out of the mason jar and filled with delicacies like Nutella, pretzels, salted caramel, brownies and loads and loads of cream.
I was haunted by this image for weeks together. It popped up on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and even my phone’s photo albums. It was so artistic, almost too pretty to eat. A quick look through the how to do it pictures and I realised this was pretty simple. It was quickly put on to the menu for the next dinner. And since there were going to be kids around I changed the filling to a Nutella and Peanut Butter layer, instead of the normal chocolate.
Weekends call for some quick and colourful meal options. I mean even for breakfast I hate seeing a boring sunny side up or poached eggs with toast or even an egg sandwich. It does nothing for my desire for the day to start off on a different (read happy, lazy) note. Enter Internet and Google search engine. Words keyed in: Colourful, eggs, wholesome, diet, Images. And out pops this colourful picture of a baked egg or Shakshuka.
I love fried chicken, especially the ones that are served at fast food counters. Dipped in batter and deep-fried in hot oil till the chicken skin is crispy and delicious. OMG! just the thought makes me drool.
I’ve often been told that beans are fabulous for health and I must include it in my diet as often as I can. So my mornings start with sprouted green gram and in the evening’s I try to make myself a hummus, (have you heard of black bean hummus? It tastes quite yum when served with rye crackers) or at times even use it as a base for my meats and gravies or even just stir fried in a dollop of butter with garlic. But this is the first time I’ve used 7 different beans together in a salad and it is quite a treat.