Previous month:
July 2014
Next month:
November 2014

August 2014

Nepali Aloo Achaar- A tangy, hot accompaniment

We love having guests over, especially the kind that enjoy food and even better, the ones that love cooking.

Right now we have Sipee , a bright and chatty Nepali girl stay with us.She treated us yesterday to a typical dish from Nepal, often served when entertaining. -Aloo Achaar.


This is meant to be eaten like a koshimbir, a tablepoon or two along with your main dish.
It looks to be a keeper...I can see us making this very often from now on.

Ingredients

1/2 kg baby potatoes
2 tablepoons sesame seeds, toasted
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
A pinch of turmeric
A generous pinch of red chilli powder
Juice of 1 lime or a teapoon of "Chuk" (Nepali black lime paste)
2-4 green chillies, sliced in the length ( add more according to taste)

2 teaspoon mustard oil
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds

Method:

1.Boil the potatoes till done. Peel.
2.Grind the toasted sesame seeds into a powder and mix with the other spices.
3. Add this mixture to the cooked potatoes and stir well with the aid of a tablepoon or two of water.
4. Add the lime juice and mix again.
5. Set aside for 15 minutes.
6. Top with the sliced green chillies.
7. Heat the oil and fry the fenugreek seeds till they pop. Pour this seasoning over the potatoes and serve.

Its absolutely delicious.

PS No time to take a photo...we ate it all up instantly.! <


My Favourite 7 Bean Salad

I love eating this salad in the monsoon. It substantial but vegetarian, cooling and warming, complex and simple. Ready to eat in half an hour and still delicious a day later.

 

1-photo

Ingredients

1 cup of mixed beans- red kidney beans (rajmha), pink kidney beans, chick peas, (kabuli channa ), dried green peas, green gram , black eyed peas or soya beans. Soak in 4 cups of boiling water for an hour.

2 sprigs of thyme

1 cup of pearl barley cooked for 30 minutes.( or 1 cup cooked finger millet)

½ cup grape tomatoes, cut in halves

Two handfuls of spinach, roughly chopped and wilted over low flame for 3 minutes, till cooked.

½ cup coriander leaves, roughly chopped

½ red onion finely chopped

1 cup finely shredded cabbage.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons lime juice

Salt and Pepper

1-photo (1)

Method

1. Pressure cook  the soaked and drained beans in 500 ml water with a few sprigs of fresh or dried thyme for 25 minutes. Turn off heat and let the pressure come down normally. Open cooker and remove thyme sprigs. Drain and reserve any cooking liquid.

2. Mix with the cooked and fluffy pearl barley.

3. Add the tomatoes, spinach, cabbage, coriander and onion and mix well.

4. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

5. Make a dressing of two tablespoons olive oil and two tablespoons lime juice. Mix with a little of the reserved cooking  liquid.Pour over salad and serve warm or cold.


Breakfast on the Deccan Queen

While much has changed for the worse, some things have definitely changed for the better, in the last five years, in India. One of the changes I am really grateful for is to be able to book train tickets online.

Hallelujah!!

Does anyone recall ye olde days of yore at the railway station, standing in a queue for 4 hours to reach the head of the line only to be told “Sold out” or “Waiting list only” or only available for the next day and other such disappointing stuff. We knew full well that half the tickets had been “reserved” to be sold in the black market later that day.

Being a frequent PUNE-BOMBAY traveler this was my weekly plight. My fate was to be jammed in with a hundred other women for “floor only” seating in the unreserved ladies compartment, time after time.

Eleven years ago all that changed. IRCTC online happened and there has been no looking back. Oh the pleasure of booking a ticket from the comfort of home rather than being inspected with infinite interest from top to toe, for an interminable four hours by bored and curious fellow queue’ ers in the grubby and smelly environs of the booking office !!

1-DSC01879

Though trips are less and less frequent, I still make the odd journey on the Deccan Queen (now rather battered by age) with its tattered blue rexine covered seats and less than spacious chairs.

1-DSC01890

1-DSC01896

1-DSC01891

1-DSC01901



However one wonderful tradition has not changed.  The menu of breakfast made fresh in the pantry car......

Omelette sandwich, Cutlet sandwich, Sabudana wadas , hot chai and coffee. All dripping with oil and deliciously sinful, served with “tomato” (read pumpkin) sauce.

1-DSC01908 1-DSC01887

The waiters have a great memory, taking the order before Lonavala and coming round a couple of hours later (around Panvel), to settle the bill without aid of pen and paper.

Today the price of the breakfast snack is significantly more than the original 35 paise but worth its oily weight in gold.

When you crave the fine pleasure of spacing out on train journeys and eating gloriously unhealthy stuff, or are bitten by the nostagia for the delights of chair car travel and railway food- you can whip up the following.

1-DSC01909

 Omelette Sandwich Deccan Queen Style

Ingredients

2 tablepoons vegetable oil or butter

2 eggs, beaten

½ onion, finely minced

/1 green chilli, finely minced

½ tomato chopped fine

¼ teaspoon salt

2 large slices white bread

Method

1. Heat the oil and a frying pan. When hot fry the onions and chillies. When soft add the tomatoes and sauté.

2. Pour in beaten eggs and fry till set. Fold into half and then fold again into a quarter

3. Butter two slices of bread. Put the quartered omelette in between .

4. Serve hot with plenty of tomato sauce and a paper napkin to wipe a shining face later.