We were recently invited to a Onam Sadya where my friend had doled out close to 15entrée all by herself and fed 10 hungry mouths! My…was it a feast for the kings. My only contribution was the Sugar-free Seviya Payasam or Kheer as the rest of India likes to call it.
Where my weekend meals are all about fun, flair and proteins, my weekday meals are generally put together without much of an ado. Some weeks ago a friend commented on the fact that I didn’t have enough vegetarian stuff on my blog…the next Sunday was thus dedicated to this friend. Though recipes for everyday meals come without a blink of an eye, when you want to take it a notch higher, you need a recipe. Indian food is very precise. An extra teaspoon of a particular spice can change the end product, and taste.
This is proof that you don’t need much to turn out a brilliant finger licking entree. 3 basic ingredients and a simple mixer (food processor) is all this needs.
My introduction to hummus was courtesy a friend who loved mediterranean food. It was one rainy Sunday when we were sitting on wicker chairs with blue upholstery, within a really delicately designed sparkling white restaurant when this appetiser arrives. Tucked into the dip were crispy lavash. Chickpeas delicately rested on the fine edge of the hummus. Slit green chillies, paprika and lemon juice glistened against a well of olive oil. It seemed to pretty to destroy, and yet I had no control over my fingers. They dug into the hummus spoon after spoon…
This is one of my least favourite vegetables. And I often stuff it with spicy mashed potatoes and pan fry them when I have to eat it! As kids we had no choice we had to eat bitter gourd once a week to keep ourselves healthy! This veggie is said to be a blessing for those with diabetes, I come from a family that’s genetically pre-disposed to this ailment, so we had little choice than to eat the veggie with the funny skin.
I succumbed…succumbed to the need of making my food healthier. Boiled potatoes are fine, but those gorgeous soft on the inside and crispy on the outside, thrice-cooked-potato chips no way…So whenI cooked up thisdelicious cheese stuffed chicken burger(made with chicken that has been steeped in hot water to knock of the fat, yeah yeah the things I do to keep the fat away) I just had to make homemade baked crisps to go with it.
For a change, i decided to cook up the chicken breasts Indian style, and am I pleased! The chicken breasts that were supposed to be stuffed with cheese and spinach and cooked in a tomato gravy were instead cooked with black pepper and capsicum! And I teamed it up with a spinach lentil. the god of small green things was definitely going to fall in love with me.:)
Indian food is essentially all about combining a veggie dish, with a nutritious dal and a bread or rice. A yoghurt based raita is thrown in for good measure and some families even insist on a kachumber–if you look at it from a nutrition point of view, a good mix of carbs, proteins and fats!
My love for feta knows no bounds…and its such a versatile ingredient! Toss it with watermelon and basil and u have a superb fresh summer salad, mix it with peaches and bacon and you have a warm winter salad, bake it with dates and you have a mind blowing dish at hand…do I need to go on…
Kale….it’s the new wonder green… The markets are going crazy with kale crisps, kale chips, kale and green apple juice and whatever you have next! It’s nutritional properties tick all the right boxes, Vitamin A, C, K, B1, B2, B3, B6.
When you think of vegetarian protein source the first thing the pops up is tofu and cottage cheese. I have grown up in a family that loves its food, and each weekend was a gourmet challenge to create something new. When my friends turned vegetarian for health reasons, I literally needed to go back to the roots and unearth new flavours.