“Wow, that sounds cool. What’s that, something exotic you learnt from one of the chefs you follow.”
“Umm…not really, but if you promise to eat it, I’ll tell you what goes into it.”
“Put that way…I think skip the introductions. But don’t cook too much, I may not take a second helping. Also I have a late evening meeting, so I might just eat something there, make a real small portion of that Gol-whetver you’re making.”
And so ended the conversation between my husband and me on that eventful Monday evening. I say eventful because not just did we enjoy the delicious bake, but a couple of friends dropped by too and went home with a stomach full and a recipe! To add to that we had a 30 minute conversation on additions, substructions, permutations and combinations that cam be used to enhance the flavours. No meal at home is uneventful.:)
Does anyone anywhere in the world need any introduction to this dish! If you haven’t tasted, you sure have heard of it. And if you’ve travelled anywhere across India, you’ve for sure seen it being sold on the roadside. This is one dish that has many names, its called gol gappas in Delhi, Puchka in Kolkatta and Pani Puri in Mumbai and Gujarat.
Now this is a dish I can devour, no matter when it’s made. It’s simple, rustic and packed with flavours and has all my favourite ingredients. What’s more it gets put together in a jiffy and looks exotic even if it is served with a simple salad like the Sweet Potato, mint and Pomegranate Salad listed here. I’ve added a recipe for Gucamole, just to get the entree, rich in vitamin C.
My fridge is usually stocked with chicken breasts, its one of the easiest and most easily accessible protein element. This pepperoni came all the way from Germany, the last bit of our shopping and to add to my pleasure I had some mozzarella cheese again from Amsterdam. I love travelling only because I get to eat foods of the world and bring back home flavours I love to experiment with.
This is as traditional as it gets! A Sunday afternoon lazy lunch with piping hot dal-dhokli. Its a perfect combination of proteins and carbs or rather dal and roti, but all mixed into one dish…the Indian pasta as my cousins often call it! Just like pasta, this dish needs to be made on the spot and served hot to really relish it. What’s more it can be enjoyed as a one-pot dish or you can enjoy it with some steamed basmati rice too. Either way, this is one dish that grows on you and can be made as festive as you wish–with simple easy additions of broken cashew nuts, raisins and dried dates (kharek).
It’s not often that I get into the mood of eating typical indian food but when i do a few dishes from my state always find their way into my kitchen. Sambhariya also known as olio is one such speciality of Gujarat. A winter food it is best eaten with bajra na rotla and khatta meetha moong, made with lots of garlic and yoghurt.
The flavours in this dish come from the marriage of coconut with coriander and the dry spices and of course lots of oil. Though the dish when presented seems like an awful lot of work, its the pre cooking that takes the longest. But if you can access grated coconut nothing like it.
This popular Indian dish is served in various ways. People from Gujarat blast the brinjals, skin and pulp them and serve it with chopped green onion, white onion, green garlic and raw powdered masalas with loads of oil. This is usually eaten on a cold day with bajra ka rotla and jaggery. Those in the north however cook the brinjal pulp yet again with onion and tomato and masalas. Some even add yoghurt. I prefer the double cooked version without the yoghurt.
What’s however interesting is that the roasted and pulped brinjal is also used for a lot of Mediterranean dishes, the closest rival is the classic Baba Ganoush or the egg plant dip!
After a hard day at work there’s nothing like coming back home to soul food. For me that’s absolutely basic indian food or ghar ka khanna. Hot roti’s with ghee, dal, potato sabji and a bowl full of yoghurt. Nothing and I mean nothing comes close to the happiness this simple meal gives my stomach.
I’ve cooked it in a earthern pot, but you could use any deep dish of your choice. If you want the potatoes to crisp up use a thinner base.
I’ve always, always wanted to cook in an earthen pot. It’s almost like this kind of cooking takes you back in time, kind of connects you to your ancestors. And the flavours that seep into the entree….simply organic! This kind of a pot is not easy to get, and once you manage to buy it, it needs to be made ready for the process of cooking–a two to three day process. But once the pan is ready, you’re reading to go! What’s more you can use this pot on a gas top, in the oven on even on coals.
The quintessential summer food, this is one of my favourite sandwich! Easy to make, meaty, with the right amount of fresh crispy veggies and barbecued ones and lots and lots of mustard. YUM! If I remember my history right, the dogs humble origins can be traced to Roman emperor Nero, whose cook Gaius may have created the first sausage, unknowingly. In Roman times, pigs were starved a week before they were slaughtered. While watching over the kitchen, Gaius realized that one of the pigs was roasted without cleaning. He stuck a knife into the belly to see if the roast was edible and out popped the intestines–empty because of the starvation diet but puffed from the heat. Gaius then stuffed the intestines with ground meats and spices the sausage was born!
This one comes from my hometown, Diu a lazy little coastal town in Gujarat. For a long time Diu was ruled over by the Portuguese and they’ve left a smattering of beautiful structures all across this town and its neighbour Daman. My forefathers hailed from Diu, in fact we gain our surname Divecha, from here. We were rich land owners who had their own oil factory called oil-garni (place where they draw oil out of seeds) and an ivory business. Today, none of it exists and most of the family has moved to the metros. Sadly I’ve never visited Diu and the only part of it I am familiar with, is its cuisine.
It being a coastal town, fish is the main ingredient of the meals here. Yup unlike what people know of this is a fish eating Gujarati community. This one is my favourite recipe and it calls for fresh green garlic and fresh green onions. Though traditionally its made with loads and loads of oil, I prefer to make it with just a tablespoon of olive oil! It’s best enjoyed with a roasted green chillie and rotlas–made with millets–sorghum (jowar) or pearl millet (bajra).