This is a breakfast dish you will find in every Gujarati home. It’s simple, easy to make, can be churned out in 30 minutes and what’s more can be created out of as many different kinds of veggies as you wish. What’s more since it is traditionally steamed before it is sautéed, it can be made in advance and sautéed just before you are ready to serve it with a dollop of green chutney.
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.
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.
How do you like your eggs done? For me it always depends on my mood. When I’m in a hurry it’s a quick sunny side up, if I’m bored out of my bones, it’s a savoury French Toast and when I want to make something exotic it’s either a Shakshuka or Eggs Benedict. But this Italian dish is quite a hit too. I load it up with so much cheese, that the end product is gooey and soft.
This is one the simplest salads to put together, if you have good knife skills. The first time I ate a Cobb salad was at Hard Rock Cafe. When the plate came to our table it was the amazing array of colours that threw me off guard, each ingredient forming a perfect line as it lay against each other, beckoning me to throw in the dressings and mix it all up. Food can’t be linear, at least not for me!
I am not a mushroom fan, and yet due to its nutritional qualities, especially the Vitamin D content, I try and incorporate the fungus into my meals at least once a week. Most often it’s just thrown into a gravy or stir fried with some onions and bell peppers, this is the first time I’ve made it a hero and am I glad!