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!
Of late all my food has the most important “free” word of which butter-free, sugar-free, oil-free and flour-free are my favourites. But to be able to use all these ‘frees” and turn around a traditional dessert into something refreshingly fabulous is an uphill task that requires several rounds of R&D.
For years together the apple pie has been my go to food. Be it a happy occasion or a pick me out of the dumps cooking session, the flavours wafting from the cinnammony-applee-buttery- pie cooking in the oven do things to the mind beyond one’s imagination. So to take this dish and convert it into something my diabetic husband could enjoy was always one of my goals. When we decided to cut away from self rising flour, I resorted to the humble oats and almonds to create the right bite. It tastes as good as the traditional version, what it lacks is the buttery crumble, but if you don’t mind add a dollop of butter when you bring the crumb together.
There’s something about this deliciously fluffy golden bake that gets the heart all gooey with anticipation. Often hailed as the “dish to pray for” and a tough one to bake at almost all Masterchef Competitions, I’ve discovered this super easy recipe that never fails. All you need is room temperature ingredients, fresh cheese, precise measurements, a dollop of patience and a cool head.
I’ve often had to entertain large groups of friends and family who don’t want me spending time in the kitchen when they are around. And yet they expect, yes I do spoil the ones I love, a three or four course meal.
The first time I was asked to stay out of the kitchen, I freaked! My meats and accompaniments were not done, the dessert was in the oven, the drinks were flowing but the starters were still being assembled. Disaster. There I was scooping out pies and spooning out fillings into little tartlets even as I guzzled my own ice filled glass of the poison of the day! Though the evening, or rather early morning, ended up with everyone being fabulously drunk on food and spirits, I ticked myself off mentally. No more last-minute cooking for this group of friends.